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Five Journalists Attacked by Police during Protests in Macedonia

18 April 2016

A journalist and four photo reporters were seriously injured by security forces on 13 April in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, while covering an anti-government rally. The protests were reportedly sparked by President Gjorge Ivanov’s dual announcement of early elections and the decision to drop the investigation into the wiretapping scandal that broke in February 2015 when it was alleged the government had illegally engaged in wiretapping over 20,000 people including journalists. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Skopje, demanding the President either revoke his decision or resign.

During the clashes, journalist Goran Naumovski, working for Plusinfo, and photo reporters Ognen Teofilovski (Vest), Nake Batev (Vecer), Tome Georgiev (Fokus) and Borce Popovski (Sloboden Pecat) were attacked on by the police, who wanted to prevent them from taking pictures of the violent protest. The IFJ and EFJ affiliate in Macedonia SSNM reported that all of them were wearing distinctive press overalls and that their cameras were clearly identified, giving every indication that they were journalists on duty. Other media workers, including Trajce Antonovski and Saska Cvetkovska, from NOVA TV, were injured by stones being thrown by protesters at the police, SSNM added.