IFJ Calls for Full Inquiry Killing of Journalist in Macedonia

MeThe International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' organisation, today called on Macedonia to hold a full inquiry into the incident in which a journalist, Kerem Lawton a television news producer from Associated Press, was among three people killed in mortar fire in military action on the country's border with Kosovo yesterday. "The authorities must clear the air of uncertainty over this", said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. "We need a full statement of exactly what happened and who is responsible for this dreadful accident. In particular, we must know why a clearly marked press car was singled out as a target." So far Macedonia has denied responsibility, but the IFJ believes that the nature of the attack and the use of sophisticated military hardware makes it more likely it was the action of regular forces. "Macedonia must come clean or the suspicion will remain that there is a cover-up of responsibility", said the IFJ. "That will be intolerable and only strengthens our fear that the welfare of journalists and other civilians is of little consideration in this conflict." The IFJ's concern adds to the urgency of the message it issued last week calling for media organizations to provide adequate equipment and protective materials to journalists reporting from the region. "It appears that journalists are always going to be at risk no matter what steps they take to raise risk awareness"