VMRO-DPMNE: The Violence was Deliberately Caused by SDSM

Skopje, 21 July, 2015 - 16:44 (META) 

“SDSM did not react when several journalists were attacked by their or their coalition partners’ activists. Unlike them, VMRO-DPMNE has the principle and the responsibility to denounce all attacks and regards such cases equally,” says in the reaction offered by VMRO-DPMNE to the press conference of SDSM spokesperson, Petre Shilegov.

“We want to reiterate that party leaders in SDSM carry political responsibility regarding all of these cases because they are the ones who threaten with violence, spread hate and lies and they are a party that promoted violence when on May 5 their party members and activists injured 38 police officers. The leadership of SDSM and their financers from Soros [foundations supported by] are contributing to the overall atmosphere in the country with irresponsible and unprofessional behavior.”

“They continuously push lies, manipulations and speculations in the public space, not only against politicians, but also against hundreds of artists, professors, professionals and even regular citizens. They are consciously causing a state of hate and violence. We still refuse to believe that SDSM are ready to go to such an extent, so that this event is part of their lowly and nasty games. Therefore, we are asking the institutions to clear this case and the perpetrators, regardless of their motif, to be sanctioned,” continues the statement by VMRO-DPMNE.

CMD: Proceedings for defamation against journalists delayed

Skopje, 14 July, 2015 - 14:56 (META) 

In the second quarter of 2015 (April to June), the Center for Media Development (CMD) followed 28 court cases through 52 hearings.

Since the adoption of the Law on civil liability for insult and defamation, in November 2012 until now, 54 cases of insult and defamation against journalists were completed, but the majority of verdicts are not yet final, i.e. there is an ongoing appeal to the Court of Appeal.

– Part of the reason for prolonging court cases probably lies in the fact that these cases are led by just three judges, who simultaneously act on other cases as well. At the same time, from unofficial sources close to the court, the CMD learned that the slowness in preparing verdicts is probably due to the fact that the court employs party members who are not professional and competent to perform the assigned tasks – reads the letter of CMD to the media.

„Meta“ in Kumanovo: Shocking images from the conflict

Kumanovo, 11 May, 2015 - 12:07 (META) 

„Meta“ News Agency reporter visited Kumanovo settlement Divo Naselje today. This suburb was the center of gunfights between police and terrorists during the weekend. Owners of the properties were in front of their homes, looking what was left.

Macedonia last on the Balkans in media freedom

Скопје, 29 April, 2015 - 11:30 (META) 

Macedonia has the worst result on the Balkans in terms of media freedom, reported “Freedom House” in the latest report on media freedom.

“The new restrictive laws and violence against journalists contributed to the global decline in press freedom in 2014, bringing it to its lowest level in more than 10 years,” reads the report.

The report reads that, in the last five years, the index of press freedom have dropped by 10 points and that several opposition-oriented media were closed in the past five years, while journalist Tomislav Kezharovski remained in custody in 2014 because of questionable charges of discovering the identity of a protected witness in a murder case.

It is also stated that Belarus, Crimea, which is under Russian occupation, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are among the 10 worst countries and territories in the world in press freedom.

Mijatovik: Urgent investigation for the wiretapping of journalists

Брисел, 27 February, 2015 - 16:17 (META) 

Representative for media freedom at OSCE Dunja Mijatovik today called for an urgent investigation for the wiretapping of journalists in Macedonia, reports “Nova TV”.

– Eavesdropping and surveillance of journalists is unacceptable. This further weakens the already fragile press freedom in the country – said Mijatovik.

She is informed that on 25th of February, several journalists received folders from the wiretaps.

– This is a serious and disproportionate infringement of the rights of journalists to do their jobs and protect their sources. Such actions must be investigated promptly and transparently, and the perpetrators must face justice – concludes the representative of OSCE.

AJM: Gruevski, Jankulovska and Mijalkov should resign

Скопје, 26 February, 2015 - 12:53 (META) 

“We demand Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska and the Director of the Security and Intelligence Service Sasho Mijalkov to resign. Regardless of who ordered wiretapping, the authorities failed to protect us,” responded the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM).

AJM reaction follows after the press conference of Zoran Zaev, on which the leader of the opposition SDSM announced that about a hundred of journalists were tapped and monitored by, according to Zaev, UBK.

– They are obliged to prevent such massive violation of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens. Their departure from office will help resolve the whole case – said Naser Selmani, president of AJM.

Selmani said that so far there were doubts that the Government corrupts media with public money, which finally received confirmation through the published audio recordings of telephone conversations between officials and editors of televisions.

– Tapping journalists corrupts media system in Macedonia and present it as completely corrupt and totally dependent on politics. We witnessed that the most influential media do not inform, but that they are means to manipulate citizens. This abuse must stop and should be sanctioned. The only way out of this absurd situation is establishing a new media system and new control mechanisms of the political system, which will ensure the independence and freedom of the media and prevent their future misuse by politics and business – said Selmani.

Zaev: Relationship UBK – media was direct

Скопје, 25 February, 2015 - 15:33 (META) 

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev today announced the fourth “bomb”, audio recordings of tapped conversations.

According to him, these conversations demonstrate the direct relationship between UBK and the media.

Zaev said that more than 100 journalists of pro-government and critical media were tapped, but that especially were followed journalists who followed the events related to the events of 24th of December 2012.

The first audio recording that Zaev announced today is a conversation between Gordana Jankulovska and Martin Protugjer, i.e. how they agree on a certain program on television.

They negotiate which reporter from TV “Sitel” would be eligible to report on the particular event and the choice falls to Slavica Arsovska – Caci, who, according Jankulovska, “works and understands MOI.”

The second audio recording that was released by Zaev is a conversation between the Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kancheska-Mileska and the editor of the news program of “Sitel” Dragan Pavlovik-Latas.

Latas suggests Kancheska-Mileska not to exaggerate because the Prime Minister has a lot of orders.

The third conversation announced by Zaev is, according to him, between Jankulovska and the Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Koteski and on the recording is heard how they agree on an program on MTV.

– He will not do, because he will be fired if he does – says Jankulovska in the conversation.

SDSM leader Zaev released an audio recording of a conversation between Latas and director of UBK Sasho Mijalkov, in which they talk about the owner of “A1”, Velija Ramkovski.

– I resolve Velija my way, and this is what you do. With two million euros support, I would form a television as well – can be heard on the recording.

The following audio recording that Zaev announced at the press conference was, according to him, a conversation between the director of MPM Srgjan Kerim and Minister of Interior Jankulovska and it refers to “taking care of the newspapers under his control.”

The last conversation is between Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski for a debt regarding documentaries.

Zaev said that 100 journalists were followed, whose recordings will be given to them personally. He said that the recorded materials were marked “UBK”. Zaev also showed materials from UBK with activity analysis of journalists who critically followed the events of 24th of December 2012.

– The case of Nikola Mladenov was run as special. This file belongs to the family of Mladenov and will be submitted to them in the way they want – emphasized Zaev.

At the end of the press conference, Zaev answered several journalistic questions:

How do we know that the materials submitted to journalists are the only copies, that you have no other copies?

– There are other copies at Sasho Mijalkov. If you see redness in my eyes, it is from working till the morning. It is because of the seriousness, because of the non-intrusion in personal affairs of these conversations. I am one of those who received proof about Government’s insanity and what it did all these years. I sincerely hope that it won’t come to what is unacceptable for journalists, for me, for any of the government or any citizen.

Is there a warrant for wiretapping journalists or was it done without a warrant?

– It has been done without a warrant. A great many of these 100 journalists were followed for years, more than two years, three or four years, as is the case with Nikola Mladenov and several other journalists. There is no chance any court or other representative of the judicial institutions to provide such a decision. Even if he would, the law does not allow it.

While holding a press conference and publish the “bombs”, group of intellectuals around the country is organizing discussions for defense of Macedonia. How do you comment on this organized group that mostly meets members close to VMRO-DPMNE?

– We probably want to present that we are a democratic country and God forbid to be such a country, as our people deserve. As time goes by, these people will stop going because what we published so far is to prepare our people for what follows. I know that these people will one day be ashamed of their children.

Do you have evidence and recordings in connection with the death of Mladenov, on the day of death and afterwards?

– Everything evidence we have will be published. We promised it to citizens and we will publish all we have as evidence for a certain case.

European journalists reacted to Hahn’s statements on media freedom

Брисел, 19 February, 2015 - 14:15 (META) 

The news industry has reacted strongly to the statements of EU Commissioner for accession negotiations, Johannes Hahn, given a few hours before his departure for Skopje, in which he expressed doubt about the rankings and methodology of “Reporters Without Borders” for freedom of media.

To a question from a reporter from Serbia on the state of press freedom in that country, Hahn responded that he heard about the problems with freedom of the media, but that he needs evidence, not rumors. After the conclusion of a reporter from Serbia that the country fell 13 places in terms of media freedom, Hahn replied that he “wants to see how the rankings are done.”

After receiving the tape of the meeting, European Federation of Journalists immediately reacted.

President of the organization Mogens Blücher Bjerregaard said the alarming state of media freedom in Serbia is not a rumor, but a reality.

– Journalists in Serbia are in a constant battle for their fundamental right to freedom of expression. European Commission should remain independent and to set standards for fundamental rights when negotiating with the candidate countries. These rights are a pillar of European democracy and there is no compromise on them – said Bjerregaard.

EFJ sent a letter to the Commissioner in which it enumerates recent violations of media freedom in Serbia and requests an official meeting with Johannes Hahn.

“Reporters Without Borders” also reacted through its director, Christian Mihr, who said in an interview that journalists in Serbia are under pressure even though the country is negotiating EU membership.

Mihr demanded freedom of media to be a strong prerequisite for Serbia admission to EU.

After the fierce reactions of journalists and news organizations for the Hahn’s statements, Commissioner sought to clarify his statements.

Through a statement sent to correspondents in Brussels, he said that he repeatedly underscores the critical importance of media freedoms as a key condition for progress towards the EU.

– I repeatedly reiterated my serious concern about media freedoms in Serbia and left doubts about this view during the meeting with reporters, and I also talked with the authorities in Serbia – reads the statement.

In addition, you can hear part of the meeting with journalists in Brussels, where Hahn gave the controversial statements about press freedom in Serbia.

SSNM: Attack in Paris is a barbaric act of violence

Skopje, 7 January, 2015 - 19:49 (META) 

Through a statement, Independent Union of journalists and media workers (SSNM) expressed the shock and disgust of today, as they say, barbaric attack of the editorial office of the French satirical weekly “Charlie Hebdo”, in which 12 people were killed, of who 10 journalists, and expressed condolences to the families of the victims and the entire French public.

“SSNM agrees with the assessment of the European Federation of Journalists, which called the massacre a barbaric act of violence against journalists and against the freedom of the media. Also, SSNM calls Macedonian counterparts tomorrow at 11 am, wherever they are, to join the minute tribute to the killed journalists at the International Press Center organized by the European Federation of Journalists”, reads the statement of SSNM.

Police prevents Albanian Top Channel reporters to film a show for Gorna Reka

Mavrovo, 8 November, 2014 - 13:42 (META) 

Reporting crew of Albanian media group Top Channel, composed of several persons, was stopped in Mavrovo for police control, under the excuse that they didn’t have permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to shoot videos in Macedonia, newspaper Lajm reports.
Reporters were held by police forces for an hour on the highway Vrben-Mavrovo for questioning and control, after which they signed a document that “they won’t repeat the mistake of filming in Macedonia without the appropriate permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
After they were released and headed towards Albania, the reporters were repeatedly held for various controls, on which they again had to explain who they are and why are they here.
According to the information of Lajm, it is a matter of a show for Gorna Reka which would soon be broadcasted within Top Channel’s most popular show, „Exclusive“.