Detained Macedonian Journalist Starts Hunger Strike

Event date: 
Fri, 2013-07-26 11:45

The Journalist Tomislav Kežarovski, who is under custody since May 28, began a hunger strike on 22 July. The reason for his decision is that his detention period has already been prolonged twice by 30 days and despite the material warranty submitted on July 11 that he will not escape if allowed to defend his rights while released from custody, the court have not yet reached any decision.

Almost all relevant foreign organizations in the field of media and freedom of speech already expressed their sentiments regarding the case of Mr. Kežarovski, demanding his immediate release and for him to be allowed to defend his rights outside of custody.

Kežarovski was arrested in the police action “Liquidation”, and is accused of revealing the identity of a protected witness in two of his articles published in the Journal “Reporter 92” in 2008.

Source: Initiative board for the release of Kežarovski, Assotiation of Journalist of Macedonia, Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers and the Macedonian Institute for Media


Update, 24 July 2013

The Criminal Court in Macedonia has today extended the custody for the journalist who has been arrested over charges of obstruction of justice, for additional 30 days.  

The "Initiative for the release of the journslist Tomislav Kežarovski", has expressed its outrage over the decision of the court saying that it is harsh and unlawful and that it is a serious blow to the freedom of speech and democracy in Macedonia. Kežarovski, a journalist from the Nova Makedonia daily newspaper, is entering his third day of hunger strike among fears that his health condition is deteriorating.

The Initiative has called upon the journalists and citizens of Macedonia to protest in front of the Court at 11 o’clock on 25 July.  
The reason for the original arrest of Kežarovski is a story he had published back in 2008 in which he had allegedly revealed the identity of a protected whiteness. Human rights activists have been clear that the whiteness whose identity was been protected was actually a 'false one' and that Kezarovski did not commit any crime.  He was arested on 28 may.

National and transnational media and political organizations have warned that a country that jails journalists over such vague charges is having problems with its democratic processes.