Support to colleague Tomislav Kežarovski

Support to colleague Tomislav Kežarovski
Event date: 
Fri, 2015-01-23 14:30
We support a protest by our journalist colleagues and media staff in Macedonia and we strongly condemn the Macedonian Appeals Court decision sentencing the journalist Tomislav Kežarovski to two years in prison over an article related to a contract killing in the village of Oreše near the Macedonian town of Veles, published in 2008 in the Macedonian magazine “Reporter 92”.
Kežarovski revealed in his articles how Macedonian police abused the “protected witness” institute. Our colleague did not, as the court judgment states, disclose the identity of the protected witness in the murder case. We, as journalists, respect the law, but the judgment itself did not convince anyone that Kežarovski had violated the law since at the time of publication of the witness’s name, that person did not have the status of protected witness. Kežarovski was convicted and imprisoned for a nonexistent act.
It is shameful and hypocritical that the Macedonian government, which gave itself the right to speak up regarding the tragic attack on the newsroom of “Charlie Hebdo”, the satirical French magazine that united the world in fighting for the right to free speech and freedom of opinion, just a few days later brutally sentenced a journalist for doing his job.
The Appeals Court in its judgment penalized the journalist for his investigative work, making Macedonia the only country in the region in which freedom of expression is thwarted by prison sentences for journalists.
We are aware of the fact that the issue of media freedom in countries in the region has been threatened for years, but the only way to defend it from the corrupt and criminalized system is to do our job professionally and to clearly and loudly show solidarity with our colleagues whose lives not infrequently are jeopardized due to their work.
We are joining the appeal of the BH Journalists Association and Independent Society of Journalists of Vojvodina and as an informal network of journalists from the region we believe this case deserves the attention of all countries that respect human rights, but primarily of relevant institutions of the European Union, OSCE and Council of Europe, which we call upon to urgently become involved in resolving it and exerting pressure on the Macedonian government to immediately set our colleague free.
Boris Pavelić (Croatia)
Aleksandar Trifunović (BiH) 
Gordana Igrić (Serbia)
Vanja Vardijan (Slovenia)
Sead Sadiković (Montenegro) 
Borjan Jovanovski (Macedonia)
Una Hajdari (Kosovo)
Lina Vdovil (Romania)
Karsimir Jankov (Bulgaria)
Konstantinos Kalergis (Greece)
Lutfi Dervishi (Albania)
Vukašin Obradović (Serbia)
Ladislav Tomičić (Croatia)
Nedim Sejdinović (Serbia)
Aleksandar Manasiev (Macedonia)
Biljana Žikić (Slovenia)
Danica Vučenić (Serbia) 
Eldin Hadžović (BiH)
Barbara Matejčić (Croatia)
Žarka Radoja (Serbia)
Igor Lasić (Croatia)
Predrag Blagojević (Serbia)
Elvir Padalović (BiH)
Dinko Gruhonjić (Serbia)
Ana Petruseva (Macedonia)
Ratko Femić (Serbia)
Ilko Ćimić (Croatia)
Tomaž Zaniuk (Slovenia)
Iva Martinović (Serbia)
Denis Latin (Croatia)
Željko Bodrožić (Serbia)
Mojca Pašek (Slovenia)
Bojan Cvejić (Serbia)
Melisa Skender (Croatia)
Jovana Gligorijević (Serbia)
Ana Benačić (Croatia)
Dragan Bursać (BiH)
Dušan Komarčević (Serbia)
Sven Milekić (Croatia)
Maja Isović (BiH)
Predrag Blagojević (Serbia)
Mašenjka Bačić (Croatia)
Miodrag Sovilj (Serbia)
Milica Plavšić (BiH)
Goran Borković (Croatia)
Vesna Mališić (Serbia)
Arijana Saračević-Helać (BiH)
Svetozar Raković (Serbia)
Bojan Anđelković (Slovenia)
Katarina Panić (Croatia)
Dragana Pećo (Serbia)
Petar Vidov (Croatia)
Marko Rudić (Serbia)
Ines Sabalić (Croatia)
Dušan Gajić (Serbia)