Appeal for release of journalist Raymonda Malecka
"Release journalist Raymonda Malecka from prison, in the name of common sense!" reads the appeal, sent today to the President Branko Crvenkovski, Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski and the Justice Minister Meri Mladenovska-Georgievska.
The Albanian journalist Raymonda Malecka was recently sentenced to five years of prison, for preparing a story on the events in Kondovo, when the crisis in this village was in its high point. The situation in Kondovo has relaxed since than, but the sentence remained.
"The sentencing of our colleague disappointed many of the journalists in Macedonia, regardless of their ethnic origin. Dnevnik, Makfax, Koha Ditore, Lajm, Fakti and other media have been covering this case", says the open letter, sent by the journalist Sefer Musliu.
There were reactions in the progressive public abroad also, and "it is not by accident Republic of Macedonia has been ranked at the bottom of the list, among the countries with no free media, published in the press freedom review of the World Media Institute!" The verdict pronounced to the journalist Raymonda Malecka will by no means improve the Macedonia's rating, and the bitter consequences of such an action are yet to come, says the letter.
Furthermore, it calls on the President, Prime Minister and Justice Minister to put their best efforts in working out release from prison of the Albanian journalist Raymonda Malecka.
Musliu reminds in his letter that Skopje's Court recently pronounced "a draconian verdict" of five years imprisonment to the Albanian journalist, because police found in her possession photographs and video footages taken during the Kondovo crises. Her father Bujar was also sentenced to five years in jail, just because he accompanied his daughter.
"The fact that defender of the journalist Malecka was not present at her trial is astonishing. He requested postponement of the trial, or order to provide facts about the case he was entrusted", says the journalist Sefer Musliu. He also said that a diplomatic representative of Albania was denied attendance at the trial.