The Association of Journalists of Macedonia welcomes the decision of the Internal Control of the Ministry of Interior, who found illegal actions of police officers who prevented journalist Biljana Sekulovska from performing her professional duties.
Namely, on 07.06.2020 around 19.00, Biljana Sekulovska, editor of the online media www.novatv.mk, filmed the police patrol who performed controls during the curfew. Even though Sekulovska introduced herself to the police and showed them permission to move during curfew, the police officers warned her to stop filming them and rudely threatened to sue her because, according to them, she was not allowed to film police officers.
After this event, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia sent a complaint to the Internal Control at the Ministry of Interior due to obstruction of the journalist’s right to report from public space on topics of public interest. Additionally, it was requested to immediately conduct a procedure for determining the responsibility of the police officer, and then to conduct a disciplinary procedure in which it will be determined whether he acted in accordance with the Law on Police and the Code of Police Ethics.
Today we were informed that the Internal Control found illegal actions of the police officers and they will be punished accordingly. We remind that the cooperation between the police and journalists is of great importance and it should be further developed.
“Such a practice based on principles can help to build a professional relationship between our colleagues and the police,” said AJM President Mladen Cadikovski, adding that the negative events should serve as an example from which a lesson can be learned in order to better understand legal powers of the police when acting against journalists.
We call on other members of AJM if they face with similar problems in the future, to immediately contact the office of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, because we provide free legal assistance for such and similar violations of their rights.