The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European
group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have condemned the
continued imprisonment of Macedonian journalist Tomislav Kezarovski after he
was yesterday, Wednesday 24 July, remanded in custody for a further 30 days.
According to IFJ and EFJ affiliate, the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), Kezarovski appeared in court in Macedonia's capital city Skopje where the ruling was taken to extend his detention. The journalist, who has already been held in custody for the last two months, is believed to be on hunger strike in protest at the decision.
"We are deeply concerned at the continued incarceration of our colleague Tomislav Kezavoski and we unreservedly condemn the decision of the Macedonian court to detain him for another 30 days," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "Keeping Keravoski in custody undermines his rights and freedoms as a journalist and calls into question the right to freedom of expression and information in Macedonia."
"The recent IFJ World Congress in Dublin adopted a resolution, proposed by the SSNM and supported by the Association of Jounralists of Macedonia (AJM) and a number of our affiliates, giving our full support to Kezarovski and the SSNM and its campaign for press freedom."
Macedonian police detained Kerarovski, an investigative journalist who works for the Nova Makedonija daily newspaper, in May and he has been held in custody in Skopje's Shutka prison ever since. He was arrested in relation to an article he wrote in 2008 for Reporter 92 magazine in which it has been claimed he revealed the identity of a protected witness in an unresolved murder case from 2005.
However, in February of this year the protected witness told a Macedonian court that his testimony in the case had been false and had been made under threat from the police. An investigative judge has reportedly demanded that the journalist reveal the identity of his source. At the end of last month a Skopje court ruled that he should remain in prison for another 30 days, and today's decision means that his incarceration will be further extended.
"We support fully and unconditionally Kezarovski's right not to reveal his source. Journalists must be allowed to carry out investigative reporting of issues in the public interest free from the threat of imprisonment and without being forced to reveal their sources," said EFJ Vice President Nadezda Azhgikhina.
For further information please refer to EFJ Protection of Sources campaigneurope.ifj.org/assets/docs/223/121/9d4e7df-267f779.pdf
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries