Arrest of Macedonian journalist condemned

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the arrest of Tomislav Kezarovski, a journalists working at ''Nova Makedonija'' daily newspaper.

Source: B92

The reporter was arrested on May 28, said an IFJ statement. The organization was joined in the condemnation by its regional group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

''We condemned the heavy-handed arrest of Kezarovski,'' said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President, ''He was arrested for his legitimate exercise of rights as a journalist who is providing information that is of the public interest.''

According to the EFJ affiliates in Macedonia (SSNM and AJM), Kezarovski was arrested and kept in remand for 30 days for a story he published dated back in 2008. He was accused of breaching the law by revealing the identity of a protected witness who was later revealed to have given a false statement under police pressure.

Kezarovski was asked to reveal the source that led him to reveal the fake witness by the police but he refused.

''This is a blatant violation of journalist's right to protect their sources which is protected by both the national law (Article 16 of the constitution of Republic of Macedonian) and European law on freedom of expression.'' said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President of the EFJ.

In an urgent motion tabled by the Macedonia affiliates (SSNM, AJM) and three other EFJ affiliates (AGJPB-ABVV, Belgium, HND, Croatia, SNS, Serbia), the IFJ Congress was asked to endorse the motion and support the journalist's right to protection of source and freedom of expression.

The IFJ and EFJ have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Kezarovski based on unsubstantial ground.


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