In the past two years, the number of cases of violation of jurnalists’ rights in the country has decreased by four times. If in 2017, 20 cases such as these were registered, the Association of Journalists (AJM) has registered only 4 such incidents where one was a physical attack n a journalist and in three cases there was a verbal assault. Over the years, the weight of the violation of journalist rights has decreased and during 2018/19 there were primarily verbal assaults on journalists and media workers.
During the period between 2014-2019, on part of AJM, 57 cases of violation of journalists’ rights were evidenced. The most severe date is the attacked known as the “Bloody Thursday” on the 27th of April when 6 physical attacks on journalists and media workers were registered. The violations during the turbulent period between 2015 and 2017 are even more drastic and apart from physical assaults, there was a destruction of property and threats.
In the Foundation Metamorphosis’ publication about the evaluation of Republic of Macedonia’s advancement in the meeting of political criteria necessary for the EU membership, regarding the media reforms, it states that the treatment of journalists has changed with the change of the government structures in 2017. The high ranking officials and other persons have withheld from issuing threats and insults towards journalists, which has led to decline of cases of violation of journalists’ rights. The court has set a sentence of 6 months imprisonment for the first time because of an attack on a journalist.
Further, the publication states that most of these violations in the period after the year 2017 are either solved or are in the process of being solved, and what gives hope is the fact that the improved condition was registered by the Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety.
Despite these improvements, the Independent Syndicate for Journalists in Macedonia and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia are continuously demanding from the authorities to conduct changes in the Criminal Code which will help to find a way for a more sever punishment in the criminal code. These demands are continuously repeated with each new registered violation such as the recent case of issued threats and insults on part of Emil Jakimovski towards journalists Meri Jordanovska and Iskra Koroveshovska.