The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) condemn the indecent and rude attitude of MP Dimitar Apasiev towards journalists, using stigmatizing and discriminatory speech and calling journalists “prostitutes” as a sign of dissatisfaction with the way they report from the intergovernmental conference in Brussels. As a current member of parliament and leader of a political party, he negatively affects the freedom of expression and the quality of public debate.
With yesterday’s public statements on the social network Facebook, Apasiev demonstrates an example of how a public figure should not communicate with journalists and the public in general.
This is not the first time that Apasiev has used this kind of speech and has an arrogant attitude toward journalists. By doing so, he directly violates the Code of Ethical Behavior of Members of Parliament, according to which Article 6 states that “the Member of Parliament is obliged to act with particular attention and respect for the personality and reputation of each individual while performing his duties,” at the same time motivating others party supporters, as well as other individuals and groups in society, to behave in the same way towards journalists.
We warn again that with this kind of speech and performance, it is possible to incite violence against journalists, which is absolutely against the law, for which the system’s institutions are also responsible.