The Association of Journalists of Macedonia condemns yesterday’s incident in the Parliamentary Club where the police for security reasons prevented photo-reporters from trying to capture the moment of the arrival of party representatives at a leadership meeting, and the head of the government’s Public Relations Service Marjan Zabrcanec sent inappropriate comments to media workers because they reacted to thоse restrictions.
We warn that these incidents represent a direct attack on the freedom of the media and they are an attempt to criminalize the work of the journalists, who are presented to the public as dangerous people. Additionally, such unnecessary incidents seriously compromise the commitment of the new government for transparent and accountable governance and return us the shadows of the past.
If there were security reasons for the introduction of a new practice of monitoring public events, then the police should timely notify the photographers and cameramen and provide an alternative way of covering these events without causing confusion and nervousness among media workers.
We emphasize that it is the Government’s responsibility to provide free access to media workers to all events of public interest and to ensure good working conditions without any pressures or threats. Any different behavior will not improve the state of the freedom of speech and will keep Macedonia at the bottom of the world lists for these freedoms.