December 4, 2023

04.12.2023 – SEEMO Condemns Ongoing Threats to Investigative Journalism in North Macedonia

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expresses deep concern over a recent defamation ruling in North Macedonia.

According to a court decision the Investigative Reporting Laboratory – IRL (, issued on 24 October 2023, IRL and its editor-in-chief, Sashka Cvetkovska, have to pay a symbolic 1 € in damages to businessman and also court costs.

The judge made a classification of IRL as a “non-media” entity and its staff as “members of a group,” instead of recognized as professional journalists. This questionable categorization implies that the platform operates illegally.

IRL plans to appeal this latest ruling to a higher court and intends to file a complaint with the constitutional court, citing a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of the press.

SEEMO is monitoring this case and supports IRL, Sashka Cvetkovska, and her team, condemning this ruling as a direct assault on investigative journalism and media freedom in North Macedonia. SEEMO underscores the need to overturn this decision promptly on appeal.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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