The Association of Journalists of Macedonia has strongly condemned the attack on a journalist and cameraman from TV21 by close relatives of the mayor of Aracinovo Milikije Halimi from SDSM.

“Yesterday, after the TV21 team recorded a segment about  complaints of the inhabitants of this municipality over the poor infrastructure, relatives of Mayor Halimi sent verbal threats to the television crew saying they would break their camera and demanded that the recordings be deleted. After journalists refused to erase the recordings, they were forced to enter the municipal building of Aracinovo and were again subjected to the same threats. They refused to delete the recorded material for a second time, and the incident continued in the editorial board of “TV21″ where the same individuals threatened the editor-in-chief telling him he must not publish anything from the recordings. At the same time, police officers arrived, after which the individuals  left the television station, and the journalist and the cameraman made a statement at a police station,” reads the statement.

According to the AJM, the violent and primitive behavior, especially from people close to political figures, is unacceptable and is an attack on  freedom of information.

“This is classic interference in the performance of journalists’ work. We call on mayor Milikije Halimi to immediately condemn this attack, and at the same time demand an urgent and effective investigation by the Ministry of the Interior. This incident will also be reported to the Regional Platform of the Western Balkans for advocating the freedom of the media and the security of journalists,” the statement added.