The Association of Journalists demands responsibility from Besija Ilyazi for her censorship "order"

Besia Ilyazi / Photo: "Free Press" / Dragan Mitreski

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM) condemns the attempt for censorship and restriction of the right to speak by Besija Ilyazi, organizational director of the Toxicology Clinic in Skopje.

According to today's report by ZNM members, an order was publicly displayed at the entrance of the Toxicology Clinic in Skopje, prohibiting employees from having contact with journalists or the media. In the order of 20.05.2024, it is stated that in accordance with articles 30 and 31 of the statute of the PHI Clinic for Toxicology Skopje, unauthorized presence, giving statements to the public through interviews and convening press conferences, which would cause damage to the interests, are prohibited and the reputation of the clinic.

Such an order is a gross violation of freedom of speech and professional journalism, contrary to the Constitution. Censorship in Macedonia is prohibited by Article 16 of the Constitution of the RSM. Public health facilities and all public institutions in the country should provide publicity in their operations and inform about their decisions and work, and not prohibit information on topics of public interest, ZNM warns.

The condemnation from ZNM adds that journalists are obliged to publish information that contains suspicions about abuses of all public office holders, because they are obliged to do so by the Journalist Code, which clearly states that the journalist will respect the laws, but will not publish or hide anything which is contrary to public interest.

ZNM will formally address the relevant ministry and demand responsibility from the director of the Toxicology Clinic and from all those involved in the adoption of this order. In addition, ZNM will insist on the immediate withdrawal of the order and the establishment of transparency in the operation of the clinic, in order to ensure freedom of speech and the right of journalists to inform on issues of public interest, the reaction added.

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