The Ambassador of Great Britain, Rachel Galloway on her Twitter account condemned the hate speech and the false accusations on social networks and certain news sites towards Meta.mk’s staff, who together with their colleagues from Metamorphosis have found themselves targets of malice since Lider news site published an article with inflammatory speech. Galloway requested that all relevant institutions take action and investigate the case.
I condemn the hate speech and spreading of false accusations towards @meta_agency journalists. Media freedom is the fundamental pillar of democracy and free societies. I ask relevant institutions to take action and investigate this case. #DefendMediaFreedom
— Amb Rachel Galloway (@RGallowayUK) November 17, 2020
Otherwise, on the 12th of November, during the evening when most of the citizens in Macedonia were celebrating the victory of Macedonian’s national football team and its entry in the European Football Championship, around midnight, on Lider news site www.lider.com.mk an article with the following title was published: “These are the people who delete content from Facebook in Macedonia!” where more lies and false claims were stated.
Among other issues, the article featured a collage of photographs of some of the employees of the Metamorphosis Foundation and the title stated that these are the people that have been erasing content from Facebook. The article also featured a list with the names of almost all of Metamorphosis’ staff including the full names of the journalists at the Meta news agency.
Even though Metamorphosis issued an official denial of the malicious and smearing insinuations, that represent repression of freedom of speech, it wasn’t published neither by the medium that instigated the smear campaign nor was it published by the remaining media that published the same content. The denial was published only by the portals bregalnicki.mk and netpress.com.mk.
Last week, journalist associations such as AJM, MIM, CMEM, and ISJMW, condemned the hate speech towards civil society organization Metamorphosis’ staff and have called upon the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to start an investigation which would help to determine the identity of the persons that instigated the hate speech through comments on social networks. They also called upon the Basic Public Prosecution to start a case where those people would be sanctioned in accordance with the Criminal Code.
During the weekend, AJM, CMEM, and ISJMW have once again repeated their call to MOI and BPP to react against hate speech, which lately is on the rise not just against the Metamorphosis Foundation but also against other renowned journalists in the country.
The EU Ambassador David Geer also condemned the attacks. He also requested that the hate speech and the smear campaign against the Metamorphosis Foundation’s staff be promptly investigated and expressed his support to the staff.