Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM: SEEMO alarmed by Borjan Jovanovski incident

Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM, 23/04/2015

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) was distressed by the latest case of media freedom violations in Republic of Macedonia / Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Borjan Jovanovski, Macedonian journalist and online media editor at TV Nova, received a funeral wreath with a note saying “Final greetings” at his home address on 22 April. The incident was reported to the police.

The journalist is known as a long-time critic and opponent of the current government and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Jovanovski has been a target of pro-government media for years.

“This threat is an alarming indicator of the media situation in the country" SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said. “Tensions have been on the rise for a while. We call not only on state authorities, but also other media outlets to end this oppressive atmosphere and support ethical, free journalism”, he added.

In his statement for SEEMO, Borjan Jovanovski stated that he does not know if the threat was ordered by someone. He commended the police for their quick reaction and investigation, and added “It is also extremely worrying to me that this man felt sufficiently safe to come to my home without even trying to hide or mask his face. Was he confident that he was ‘doing the right thing’? Does he have protection in high places? I have no idea, the police are in charge of the affair and I expect the perpetrator to be brought to justice. I also expect that the government will make it clear that death threats towards journalists will be resolutely condemned.”

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