Civil-Center for Freedom demands urgent release of the journalist Tomislav Kezharovski as well as compensation for the entire trauma that he and his close ones lived through today and through the long period of time spent in custody
Civil- Center for Freedom regards that today’s decision to penalize journalist Tomislav Kezharovski with a draconian sentence of 4,5 years imprisonment is shameful, brutal and shocking and is a severe violation on human rights, freedom of speech and the independence of media in the country.
We request urgent release of Kezharovski and compensation for all the injustice that has been brought upon him, as well as for all the trauma that he and his family have gone through today and during the last five months.
We are joining the strident protests of the international and local institutions and the many individuals in the country and the world and we request the sentence to be appealed immediately, and for the higher court instances to abolish it as illegitimate in the shortest time possible.
The whole course of Kezharovski’s case, from him being arrested in a sensationalistic manner and being held in custody for a long time (since May 28th this year), directs to a conclusion that this is a politically motivated verdict, not a legal and constitutional one brought by an independent court.
Civil, together with Reporters without borders- Germany, N-OST- Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, have assessed in a mutual reaction, two moths ago, that the arresting of Kezharovski has been devised with a goal to intimidate him, as well as other local journalists and media.
“Arresting a journalist on behalf of him using his constitutional right to inform the public is not just illegal, but completely incompatible with European standards” and is “yet another of the series of practices that the government uses to influence the freedom of media in a very negative way”, was the message given by the four organizations.
We call for all international and local institutions, all freedom-loving people, to do everything in their power to stop the violation of human rights by the government; for the courts to break free from the government’s strong influence and to pass verdicts independently and based on evidences, in accord with the constitution and the law.