Peter Verheijen: Government must protect informers


The conclusion of today’s debate titled “Protecting informers through institutional system in Macedonia” organized by “Transparency International”, supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Skopje, held at the Hotel “Stone Bridge” is that there is a need to enact a law to protect informers (whistleblowers).

According to professor and president of “Transparency International” Slagjana Taseva, the goal at the beginning of a series of debates on this subject is to raise awareness to protect this group of people and make a preventive framework for informers.

– The institutional treatment of this issue will mean how to treat this problem. According to polls, informers are unprotected and do not dare to do so. We constantly contact with the Ministry of Justice to see the development of the idea of creating such a law, but there was no response from there – said Taseva.

According to the moderator of the conference, Professor Gjorgji Spasov, word “informs” associates to snitching and has a negative context in the Macedonian language.

– When the man wouldn’t be labeled, he would not feel a problem. We have a language problem with this term. We should be considering how to classify them and how to encourage them. The opinions on them in our country are divided. One is that these people should end up in prison, and the second is that they should be declared heroes. It should be a main theme on which we will discuss in the following period – said Spasov.

According to Acting Netherlands Ambassador to Macedonia Peter Verheijen, democracy is a system in which politicians are responsible for the laws and their adoption.

– Informers are a means of democracy. Governments should allow citizens to inform because democracy belongs to the citizen. Informers’ protection and investigative journalism is of great importance for a democratic state. In the Netherlands, these people are taken with great seriousness. Here they are called Klokkenluider (someone who rings the bell). It is important the government to stick to the principles of honesty and accountability. Protection is important to society, and any prosecution of journalists has a dangerous effect on democracy – said Verheijen.

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