The Association of Journalists of Macedonia condemns the physical attack on journalist Mirjana Mircevska Jovanovic. She was attacked by members of the private security agency “Nikob”, while she reported on the celebration of “Vodici” in Skopje, which was organized by the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
We urge the Ministry of Internal Affairs to immediately react and to conduct an urgent investigation about the incident by identifying the attacker of the journalist, and then to file criminal charges to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Skopje, for which an appropriate procedure should be initiated. Apart from this, we ask the MoI to investigate whether other journalists and media workers present at the event have been attacked as well.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2018 promised that the freedom of the media and journalists’ safety are their main priorities and that there will be zero tolerance for violence against journalists. If the government wants to send a sincere and clear message that it will not tolerate any attacks on journalists, it must immediately investigate this case and punish the attackers.
In this case, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has the greatest responsibility, which is to provide a safe environment for reporting of the journalists in order to be able to do professionally their journalistic tasks. In this incident where our colleague Jovanovic was injured, the attacker is not the only one who is responsible but also the organizer holds responsibility.