Home Page
 
28 Sep 10

Macedonian Journalist Escapes Jail

A Macedonian journalist arrested for failing to pay his fine in a controversial slander case has avoided jail after his colleagues settled the payment.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Emil Zafirovski, a journalist for the local weekly Forum, was detained by police in a café in Skopje on Monday for failing to pay a €500 fine or serve a 25 days in prison after he was sentenced in a slander case dating back to 2004.

But Zafirovski told local media he never received a court notice to appear on trial and was never notified about the sentence.

“I still do not know who sued me and when the court verdict was reached,” Zafirovski said upon his release.

His arrest came after he notified police of his location after they phoned him.

The Forum newspaper said Zafirovski had been denied the right to defend himself in a fair trial and it would raise his case with relevant domestic and international institutions.

There have been almost 200 slander cases against journalists in Macedonia over the last four years, according to official data from the Ministry of Justice.

The Macedonian Journalist’s Association, ZNM, has been calling for slander to be decriminalised in line with practices in some western democracies.

Macedonia’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party instructed its officials to withdraw all slander charges against journalists in December 2008.

There are currently 12 cases against reporters outstanding.

The media watchdog Freedom House said in its latest report that legislation covering slander was one of the main obstacles journalists in the country faced in doing their job.

It ranked Macedonia media as partly free, with 4.25 points on a scale of one-to-seven, with seven representing the worst possible conditions.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

in-pictures-wildlife-snapped-in-bulgaria-s-rhodopes-mountains-08-17-2017
18 Aug 17

In Pictures: Wildlife Snapped in Bulgaria’s Rhodopes Mountains

Cameras installed by Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation in the remote mountain range are helping document wildlife activity in one of Europe’s richest environmental habitats.

17 Aug 17

Boom and Bust

17 Aug 17

Kosovo Journalist Blames Work for Assault

17 Aug 17

Fate of Macedonia's Big Wheel Looks Uncertain

Premium Selection

video-albanian-thailand-attracts-hundreds-of-tourists-08-17-2017
17 Aug 17

VIDEO: Albanian "Thailand" Attracts Hundreds of Tourists

Unexplored nature, azure waterways and the many opportunities for adventure have recently turned the Shala river valley into one of the tourist hotspots in the Albanian Alps.

turkish-purges-leave-one-mighty-army-weakened-08-16-2017
17 Aug 17

Turkish Purges Leave Once Mighty Army Weakened

Once one of the world's strongest armed forces, the Turkish military has been seriously undermined by waves of arrests and dismissals, experts warn.

15 Aug 17

Bosnia-Born American Sues US over Travel Ban

10 Aug 17

Balkan Parents Dream of Finnish Baby Boxes