R. Gutierez: Freedom Of Expression Declined Drastically In FYROM
Freedom Of Expression has declined drastically in FYROM according to Ricardo Gutierrez, Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists.
Gutierez stated at the end of his 2-day visit to FYROM that the Federation was seriously concerned about the situation in the FYROM media where critical media is vanishing gradually citing reports from the US Department of State, Freedom House and the European Commission
He added that the European Federation of Journalists are also concerned about the pressure being put on certain journalists.
Gutierez met journalist Tomislav Kezarovski in his home and he noticed he was very strong and full of faith. Furthermore the head of the Federation said he believed Kezarovski is innocent.
The Secretary General of the EFJ told Ministers Fatmir Besimi and Ivo Ivanovski that a journalist in Europe would not be imprisoned based on those charges.
The government campaigns, he also said, were another reason for concern about media freedom in FYROM.
In his view, another element that aggravates media freedom in FYROM is that many journalists work without having employment contracts, paid vacation and insurance.
“The situation, based on reports we receive, is getting better in Serbia and Croatia, but is deteriorating in your country. The Government can and should do something about it. It can make sure that advertising is not used as a tool for censorship,” he added.
According to Mr. Gutiérrez, Information Society and Administration Minister Ivanovski admitted there was room to improve the media legislation.
“I told Minister Ivanovski that the media laws should not be written against reporters but together with them with their direct involvement. The ministers admitted there was room for improvement, while Ivanovski said he was ready to consider concrete ideas.”