The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) condemn the attack on the Al Jazeera journalist team and ask from the Ministry of Interior to sanction the attacker of which a video was published.
At the protest organized today in the center of Skopje by the political party VMRO-DPMNE the journalist Milka Smilevska and the cameraman Jorde Angelovic from the Al Jazeera media were attacked and were obstructed in performing their professional journalistic tasks by an unknown person. According to the published videos and statements of the journalist about the incident, after asking from which media they are, the unknown person had physical contact with them, after which he pushed the microphone of the journalist.
Journalist Smilevska reported the incident on the spot to an official from the Ministry of Interior, after which, for now the unknown person was taken aside, and the officer indicated that an appropriate charge would be filed against the attacker.
This behavior towards journalists on duty is unacceptable and needs to be severely punished by the Ministry of Interior because violence against journalists is not allowed in democratic countries. If such incidents are tolerated in the future, there is a risk of encouraging new, more serious violence against journalists and thus additionally to endanger their security, the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to inform the citizens.