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:

europe-s-balkan-hour-03-23-2017
23 Mar 17

Europe’s Balkan Hour

As EU officials seek to rediscover and re-engage with the Balkans, we bring a series of articles on what the EU should and should not be doing in the Balkans, along with a variety of stories picked from across the region, not least one about Bosnia’s ‘pyramids’.  

23 Mar 17

Albania Reforms Senate Caucus to Boost US Ties

23 Mar 17

Kosovo MP's Move to Cut Jail Terms Slated

Premium Selection

bosnia-s-pyramids-get-celebrated-from-unusual-perspective-03-23-2017
23 Mar 17

Bosnia’s 'Pyramids' Get Celebrated from Unusual Perspective

Brussels-based photographer Thomas Nolf embraces Visoko’s famous so-called pyramids for offering a divided country a positive ‘ground-up’ version of history.

romania-accused-of-inaction-over-slavery-in-italy-03-22-2017
23 Mar 17

Romania Accused of Inaction Over ‘Slavery’ in Italy

After the latest UK media exposure of the slave-like conditions endured by Romanian migrant workers in Sicily, the government has been accused of making an inadequate response. 

22 Mar 17

Vanished Mural Sparks Protests in Novi Sad

22 Mar 17

Belgrade Tween Conquers World of Music