The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep concern after last night’s violent events and attacks on journalists during protests in Skopje, Macedonia.
Demonstrators and supporters of former ruling party VMRO DPMNE began protesting on Monday after it was revealed that a potential political coalition could be created between the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and ethnic Albanian parties. Thousands joined the rally on Tuesday in Skopje, as well as towns such as Bitola, Kumanovo, Kicevo, Prilep and several others. Protesters claim that the coalition could endanger ethnic Macedonian interests.
At the sight of the protests on 28 February, a journalist and cameraman from the outlet A1on were physically attacked by several protesters. After being punched in the head repeatedly, both media workers were sent to the Emergency Center to receive medical care for their injuries. In the meantime, the attackers also broke their camera and then fled the scene.
Protest organizers and other attendees did not help or protect A1on journalists from this attack, despite the media crew simply being there to report the events occurring at the scene.
„We call on authorities in the country to immediately launch an investigation and find the perpetrators of this attack“ Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General stated.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.