World Bulletin/News Desk
Macedonian police prevented a group of journalists and activists in attempt to protest against sentencing of journalist Tomislav Kejarovski.
Kejarovski was sentenced on Monday to four and a half years for, as the court described it, revealing the name of the protected witness in a murder case.
Journalists and activists tried to arrive to the Museum of Macedonian Struggle for Independence, but were stopped with the police cordon about 100 meters from the destination.
Protesters, who were dressed in black shirts, lit candles in front of the police cordon to mark, as they called it “burial of democracy”, while cameramen and photojournalists placed their cameras in front of the police.
The protests were organized by the most influential journalistic organizations in Macedonia, including the Journalist’s Association, the Independent Journalist’s Trade Union and the Macedonian Institute for Media.
Many international organizations joined Macedonian journalists in condemning the verdict as a serious blow to democracy. The government rejects these claims.
In 2008, Kajerovski published an article he was sentenced for this Monday. The protected witness in question, this year told a court that his previous testimony was false and made under the threats from the police. The entire case was rejected, and the defendants were set free.
The conviction of Kajerovski came at the same time while many journalists in Macedonia are complaining about the government attempts to influence the freedom of the media.
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