Council for Ethics in Media of Macedonia (SEMM) today condemned the verdict of the Court of Appeal for the journalist Tomislav Kezharovski and his express transfer from house arrest to prison “Skopje”.

“We believe that this decision sends a message of self-censorship to all journalists in the country. The ethical principles of journalism can be defended and maintained only when the press is guaranteed freedom of information. Showing power as in Kezharovski’s case contributes to destruction of democracy in Macedonia. Council for Ethics in Media of Macedonia demands the immediate release of journalist Kezharovski from prison and the abolition of the decision of the court”, reacted representatives of SEMM.

On Thursday, Basic Court Skopje 1 announced the decision of the Court of Appeal that Kezharovski is sentenced to two years of prison for the case “Liquidation”, in which he was accused of revealing the identity of a protected witness.

The decision prompted an angry reaction among journalists and journalists’ associations, which gained momentum after the express transfer of Kezharovski from house arrest to the prison in Shuto Orizari on Friday night.

International organizations and associations of journalists had condemning and critical reactions, and the events surrounding the imprisonment of Kezharovski also provoked condemnation from Balkan and global media.

Last night, Kezharovski’s wife was not allowed to visit him in prison “Skopje” under the explanation that only 24 hours since his transfer to the prison has passed and visit is not allowed.