The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns the attempted murder of Goran Gavrilov, General Manager of the Stip-based Channel 77, a private radio station network with national coverage in Macedonia.
According to information before SEEMO, Gavrilov was attacked by two armed persons in the night between 25 and 26 January in front of his home in Stip, eastern Macedonia. The masked assailants shot at him, but missed, and then violently beat him with metal rods. Gavrilov was severely injured and received medical treatment in the Stip hospital. His wife, Emilija Gavrilova, believes that this attack was linked to Gavrilov’ s work with regard to media regulations and reforms during the last 16 years and may present a direct threat to Channel 77’s effort in developing media democracy in the region.
Commenting on the incident, SEEMO Secretary General, Oliver Vujovic, said “SEEMO strongly condemns the brutal attack on Gavrilov and stresses that a full investigation should be conducted by the Macedonian authorities. Every threat against a journalist in Macedonia is a threat against the fundamental principle of freedom of expression in this country. We will continue to follow this case and we hope that the police will solve it as soon as possible.”