Fines for journalists in FYROM higher than in France

Fines for journalists in FYROM higher than in France

Skopje, June 25, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

French ambassador to Skopje, Laurence Auer says that fines and penalties for journalists in FYR Macedonia are very high.

According to her, courts and prosecution must apply the French model and journalists must be issued symbolic fines only in cases of defamation or violation of privacy.

“Every violation or defamation must be fined, but the court must make the decision public in the official gazette, and no fines should be issued in cash. But, from what I can see, fines for journalists in Macedonia are high. In a year and a half that I’ve been staying in Macedonia, I have noticed that the fines that journalist pay are higher than those applied in France. For this, I call on the authorities to apply the French method. I repeat that the best practice is the one according to which the penalties are made public on the press, while fines in cash to amount to one Euro”, said the French ambassador.

She says that the freedom of speech and other human rights are the basis of every country and state.

“Based on the reports published so far, it’s been noticed that Macedonia still has a lot to do and needs a better coordination between judges and journalists”, said ambassador Auer, commenting French support given by French legal experts in relation to the training which has started in the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors of FYROM. 50 judges, public prosecutors and journalists have been invited in the training. /ibna/