Dressed in bullet proof vests and helmets, Macedonian journalists protested on Monday May 20 in front of the building of the government of the Republic of Macedonia. The demonstration was a protest against threats to journalists' lives and security.
About 300 journalists from all media took part in the protest, organised by The Association of Journalists of Macedonia. They called the manifestation "Journalist's Pen in Bullet Proof Vest". One reason for the action was the accident on Wednesday the week before, when the interior minister Ljube Boskovski wounded a journalist, Daniela Veljanovska, and three other bystanders while testing an automatic light grenade launcher.
The Association made a declaration, protesting against threats against journalists, and calling for a boycott of the Minister of Interior.
Declaration from The Association of Journalists of Macedonia:
Journalist's Pen in Bullet Proof Vest
Declaration Against the jeopardizing of the Macedonian journalists' lives and security
We publicly protest against the exhibitory political voluntarism and all types of pressure and threats against the journalists, which threat to seriously undermine the freedom of the media.
The wounding of our colleague from Dnevnik, Daniela Veljanovska, is merely an incentive for the peaceful journalists' protest, which will not stop if we continue to witness harsh attempts for incorporation of the political power in our profession.
We publicly announce that in the future we will ignore all personal parades and amateurish attractions - exercises, which jeopardize the lives of the journalists, photo-reporters, cameramen…
At the end, we appeal to all our colleagues in the country to boycott the public appearances of the Minister of Interior, Ljube Boskovski, thus showing their journalistic solidarity as well as awareness for the need of respect for their personal moral and professional standards. This does not refer to the Ministry of Interior in general, because there are people who are indeed honest and professional workers.
Association of Journalists of Macedonia