During yesterday’s protest organized by VMRO-DPMNE, journalist Milka Smilevska and cameramen Jorde Angelovik were attacked and were prevented from doing their work. While they were taking a statement from one of the protesters, the attacker firstly asked Smilevska whether she reports for Al Jazeera Balkans and then pushed her microphone.

“The police have detained the perpetrator and will press charges. I will not sue him,” wrote journalist Milka Smilevska on her Facebook profile.

Dečkoto na prvoto video što go prijaviv na policaecot, ne napadna so kolegata Jorde i mi go butna mikrofonot dodeka…

Gepostet von Smilevska Milka am Mittwoch, 9. September 2020

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (TYJMW) condemned the attack on Al Jazeera Balkan’s crew and asked MOI to sanction the attacker whose picture is publicly available.

“This behavior towards the journalists who are on duty is unacceptable and it should be sanctioned on by the Ministry of Interior because the violence towards journalists is not allowed in democratic countries. If these incidents are tolerated there is a risk of encouraging new and more serious violence on journalists in near future, and that will additionally jeopardize their safety, the freedom of expression and the right to inform the citizens” states the joint press release issued by AJM and TYJMW.

The protest’s organizer VMRO-DPMNE also issued a press release where it condemns any type of violence and obstructions of journalists. They called upon the authorities to clear out the circumstances about yesterday’s incident at the protest.