Jailed journalist, Zoran Bozinovski started a hunger strike on September 14, due to the unjust extention of his pretrial detention and his court case, said today the President of the Association of Journalists in Macedonia, Naser Semani.

He said even though prison authorities knew of the hunger strike, they did not share the information with his lawyer or the Ombudsman.

“We call on Judge Sandra Krstic to immediately terminate our fellow colleague Bozinovski’s detention, otherwise we will hold her responsible for any consequences to his health or his life. Also, we call on the Ombudsman to visit Bozinovski in prison and to warn the institutions with haste of the consequences if they do not act adequately to the situation”, said Selmani.

He added that there is no doubt that the process against Bozinovski is a political process, so the Government can silence a journalist.
Also supporting the release of Zoran Bozinovski, is Ricardo Gutiérrez, the Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). He said he supports the AJM’s demand for Bozinovski to be released immediately.

“Although we asked the Criminal Court’s permission to visit Bozinovski, we did not recieve an answer. We have reported this case to the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalists. So far, Macedonia on have eight reported cases of journalists being  intimidated or were arrested, which is more than double the number in Albania, who have reported only four cases. The Macedonian government signed, on April 13, the Recommendation of the Council of Europe on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. My question to the Government is: what have you done to improve the situation for journalists in your country?” Stated Gutiérrez.

Selmani will not exclude any possibilities that will aid their intentions to release Bozinovski.