Civil condemns police brutality and the pressure on journalists

Civil - Center for Freedom condemns the use of excessive force against demonstrators by police officers during their withdrawal at yesterday's riots in the neighborhood Gorce Petrov. The blame for the escalation of the situation during the protest is seen in the lack of appropriate measures by the Ministry of Interior, to prevent violence and vandalism despite announcements for gatherings on social networks.

According to Article 14 of the Law for the Police, "for the purpose of preventive action and preventing crime, the police may decide to reinforce control of persons and objects". Instead, yesterday we witnessed that the police allowed the situation to go out of control, and only after  damages were caused approached "cleaning fights" with those who protest and revolt for killing 19-year-old AP. Appropriate force should be used only in cases prescribed by law and when it is really necessary in fulfilling the conditions defined in Article 91 of the Law on Police which foresees the use of force against the group.

Once again we appeal to citizens to refrain from any ethnic conflict and allow the system institutions to carry out their work according to the enforcement of criminal law in the investigative and prosecution of offenders. Using ethnicity of the murder suspect in the spread of hate and calls for violence, can only generate new criminal offenses and to worsen even more stability and safety and result in new victims.

At the same time, Civil fiercely condemns the misconduct and brutal police officers and taking video and photo materials from Nova TV journalists, Focus and Radio Free Europe, which represents obstruction of performing their duties and obligations in informing and public attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the media. Making temporary items is regulated by article 57 of the LP. In the meantime police officer may confiscate items with a court order, in cases provided by the Law on Criminal Procedure (CCP), while for the confiscated items should provide relevant document. "Notes on the facts to make their journalists and editors in the media, which are owned by them or in which editorial work", according to Article 206 paragraph 1 of the CPC, are part of the items that can’t be seized.

We appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia to urgently carry out investigations and take appropriate action against its employees who act contrary to legal provisions, while journalists and media workers to  be allowed to perform their duties and to not get involved in their work.

We call on journalists to report events conscientiously and professionally, guided by journalistic code and positive legal regulations of the Republic of Macedonia.

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