May 15, 2024

15.05.2024 – SEEMO Condemns Harassment of North Macedonian Journalist Furkan Saliu

Amidst escalating tensions, South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly denounces the ongoing harassment faced by North Macedonian journalist and PortaliX ( founder Furkan Saliu (@furki.saliu).

Saliu’s ordeal began on 7 April 2024, in Sredno Konjari (Средно Коњари), Petrovec (Петровец )municipality, North Macedonia where he was detained while filming police intervention at a football match.

Despite his assertion of innocence, Saliu allegedly found himself restrained on the ground by riot police, pleading for breath. Adding to the gravity of the situation, it was revealed that allegedly crucial CCTV footage related to the incident had mysteriously disappeared.

This blatant interference with evidence deepens concerns regarding the integrity of the investigation. Saliu’s subsequent release did little to assuage fears, especially as complaints filed by journalist associations against police conduct were summarily dismissed.

Matters worsened with one Minister in North Macedonia premature public comments, casting aspersions on Saliu’s character before any formal investigation could take place.

Several press freedom and media organizations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ – and the Safe Journalist ( network, have united in condemning the ongoing harassment of Saliu. In a letter dated 8 May 2024, addressed to the Minister for Internal Affairs and the President of the one party, these organizations expressed deep concern over Saliu’s detention. You can read full statement here:

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the harassment and detention of journalist Furkan Saliu in North Macedonia, representing a gross violation of press freedom. The dismissal of complaints against police officers further exacerbates concerns about the integrity of the investigation. Minister premature public comments only serve to deepen the atmosphere of intimidation against journalists, undermining the principles of a free press and the rule of law. SEEMO calls for an immediate end to such harassment and urges authorities to respect the rights of journalists to work without fear of reprisal.

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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