MARCH 30, 2016
The Basic Public Prosecutor`s Office in Skopje rejected the complaint lodged by the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists (AJM) for criminal prosecution of Milenko Nedelkovski for spreading hate speech and endangering the safety of the public.
AJM and SSNM appealed this decision and hope that he Higher Public Prosecutor`s Office will assess the situation in an objective manner and will open a case against Nedelkovski for sending threats and spreading hate.
The Trade Union lodged the complaint because the violence – the verbal violence so predominant in the media has long ago overflown in the public. The atmosphere of lynch and constant attacks on all who are not like-minded poses a serious danger not only to journalists but to all citizens, and it seems that the situation is getting out of control. When that happens, those who incited and those who conduct the violence are just as much victims as those at whom it is directed, but not all bear the same responsibility. The responsibility lies with those who initiate it and do nothing to stop the evil. SSNM won`t be silent. We addressed the authorities hoping that they would recognize the gravity of the threat. And we won`t be silenced either. It is a crime which is prosecuted ex-officio even when the institutions turn a blind eye – fighting the evil means documenting and calling things by their real name, said SSNM`s President, Tamara Causidis.
On his Facebook profile, Nedelkovski called the journalists Jadranka Kostova, Branko Gerovski, Borjan Jovanovski and Saso Ordanovski traitors and threatened to visit their homes to settle some issues. In this way, Nedelokovski encouraged others to attack journalists and thus jeopardized their safety.
Among other things, Nedelkovski wrote that havoc would be created in the family from Brajcino with an Albanian bride, alluding to the journalist Borjan Jovanovski, thus sending xenophobic messages in the public.
AJM and SSNM believe that Nedelkovski`s threats are messages sent to journalists by the highest structures of VMRO-DPMNE. Their idea is to intimidate and discourage journalists to write about the massive abuse of the institutions and the violation of human rights.
AJM and SSNM once again point out that journalists are not only faced with verbal violence and harassment, but are also a target of physical violence. During the last four years, AJM has registered 25 cases of violence against journalists, none of which has been resolved. AJM and SSNM call upon the Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski, to keep his promise and resolve these cases of violence against journalists.