Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM: SEEMO calls the authorities in Skopje to drop all charges against the journalist Tomislav Kezarovski

Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM, Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM, 07/11/2014, 14:25

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East and Central Europe, is expressing its deep concern regarding the case of the Macedonian journalist Tomislav Kezarovski.

Kezarovski was first detained in May 2013, regarding investigative articles he wrote five years earlier for the magazine Reporter 92. Two articles were published in November- December 2008. Being accused of revealing the identity of a protected witness, he was sentenced in November 2013 to 4,5 years in prison. He is currently held under house arrest.

The court ignored the fact that Kezarovski disclosed only the name, but not the surname of the protected witness, with which the exact identity could not be revealed. Additional, the journalist had an obligation to inform the public that the police had a false protected witness in a murder case. The witness admitted that he was blackmailed by the police in order to become a protected witness.

On 24 October 2014 the Appeal Court in Skopje had a session regarding Kezarovski case, but so far did not conclude weather the appeal will be accepted or not so.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic stated that the organisation and its members are giving their full support to Kezarovski and other journalists in similar situations all over the region. „The treatment and trial against Tomislav Kezarovski have been a source of deep concerns to us for some time now. It is necessary that journalists and media outlets become safe from these types of pressures and attempts at censorship.

The verdict that Kezarovski is facing is a serious threat to media freedom, free expression and basic human rights. I call on Macedonian authorities and institutions to drop all charges against this journalist, and prove that they are really working on creating a democratic atmosphere for professional, independent and investigative journalism.“ Vujovic added.

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