The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Greek government to investigate reports that local authorities near the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia failed to respect journalists' rights when four Macedonian journalists were filming near an army training site.
"We understand concerns about filming near security and military institutions, but we believe the Greek government must provide a full explanation of the circumstances around the arrest of these journalists," said IFJ Deputy General Secretary Paco Audije. "There must be no suggestion that accredited journalists have been subject to unwarranted pressure and harassment."
Goran Momiroski of A1 TV and two other A1 TV crew members and Meri Jordanovska of Nova Makedonija newspaper say they were arrested on Monday as they tried to cover protests against a disputed army training site in the Greek village of Lofi, near the Greek-Macedonian border. After their release they say they were escorted to the border by police and advised that they should not talk to any witnesses of a protest against the army manoeuvres.
Authorities claimed that the journalists, who had proper identification and visas, did not have a special filming license to work in the area. They also asked the journalists to hand over their material.