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Home / Portfolio / Monitoring the prosecution of journalists before the domestic courts of the Republic of Macedonia (2010-2011)

Monitoring the prosecution of journalists before the domestic courts of the Republic of Macedonia (2010-2011)

Period of implementation: october, 2010 – september, 2011

Goal of the Project

The overall goal of the project is to contribute towards freedom of the media and the respect of the freedom of speech in the Republic of Macedonia. The goal of the project is to monitor the judicial procedures against journalists for the criminal act defamation and insult and the level of respect for the international trial standards, especially art.6 from the European Convention for Human Rights. The objective of the project is to make serious efforts in providing sustainable end verified information for the prosecution and sanctioning of journalists accused of defamation and insult.

Context:

In the last few years the journalists in the Republic of Macedonia are often complaining of frequent attacks on their freedom of speech and way of reporting. Very often those attacks end up in the courtroom with a criminal charge against them for defamation and insult.
The 2009 Progress Report for Macedonia describes the situation with the freedom of media as: “…Political interference in the media is a source of concern as it leads to self-censorship and limits freedom of expression.”
In 2009 the Macedonian association of journalists organized a roundtable named as “Media and the Courts” where the journalists themselves openly spoke about the way they are treated when appearing in the courtroom. The compared it with the severe words as inquisition and revenge against them.
The Centre for Media Development is not concerned about the number of such judicial cases but the way they are processed and end. The high sentences against journalists produce self-censorship that may discourage them when writing about certain sensitive issues or public persons.
With this project the Coalition “All for fair trials” will try to make serious efforts to provide verified information for the prosecution and sanctioning of journalists accused of defamation and insult, and the level of respect for international fair trials standards, especially art. 6 and art. 10 from the European Convention for Human Rights. The project will also make a comparative analysis of the situation in 2006 and tod

Project activities

  • Identification of criminal procedures conducted against journalists accused of defamation and insult;
  • Trial monitoring before the basic courts in the country;
  • Cooperation with the courts of first instance, media, the Macedonian Institute for Media, The Macedonian Association of Journalists etc.;
  • Organization of two roundtables;
  • Statistical processing and analysis of the trial monitoring data as well as of the data obtained from other sources and production of an analytical report;
  • Press conference for a public promotion of the project’s results and the analytical report.

Contact

Aleksandar Blazeski – Project Coordinato

Donors

  • FOSIM – Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia

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