The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the Macedonian Independent Syndicate of Journalists and Media Workers (ISJMW), and the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM), most strongly condemned the hate speech that we were witnessing in the past several days against a number of journalists and one civil society organization. They called upon the state authorities and institutions, such as the MOI and the Public Prosecution to react in order to put an end to such attacks, since they directly interfere in the freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

“In the past several days, journalists Boris Georgievski, Ljupčo Popovski and Borjan Jovanovski were targeted with attacks, humiliation, defamation and hate speech on social networks since they had their own and differing opinions about the ending words from the sports commentator at the football match between Georgia and Macedonia, Toni Stojanovski. We stress that a well-argued expression of an opinion about the professionalism or the absence of professionalism of a certain act represents a free expression and that mustn’t be a subject of hate speech. The same can be said for sports commentator Stojanovski whose ending comments also mustn’t be a target of hate speech.

Previously, a target of attacks and hate speech was the whole Meta agency’s editorial staff, Metamorphosis Foundation’s staff, and a target of attacks and insults was journalist Bobi Hristov on part of a political party president and MP.

The free media and journalists represent the foundation of the functioning of every democratic society and a predicament for that freedom is the possibility for the media professionals to be able to work in an atmosphere free of threats and insults,” stated the journalist associations.

At the same time, they remind that the journalists work for the benefit of the general public and it is allowed their acts to be criticized, but only if such criticism is well-argued, cultural and it doesn’t cause hate speech, threats that are jeopardizing their safety, etc.

AJM, ISJMW, and CMEM have called up the media not to publish messages containing propaganda content that further adds gasoline to an already heated atmosphere.