To recall, nationalist protesters, many of whom were wearing marks and hoods, stormed into the Macedonian Parliament after Talat Xhaferija, an ethnic-Albanian, was elected President of Parliament. On this occasion, many people were injured, as was Social Democratic leader, Zoran Zaev.
Dmitar Tanurov from the independent online agency Meta, found himself among the assaulted journalists; He told us what exactly took place in the press room during the attack.
At one point, while I was recording them throwing chairs, camera tripods etc. at the MPs, an elderly person threatened me, telling me to stop recording and tried to take my phone. Then, other four people joined him, and they all started hitting me with their fists, trying to take my phone out of my hands. One of them saw my press card, on which Meta News Agency was printed, and he punched me, while
shouting “Traitor”. I fell on the ground. They managed to steal my phone, but continued to kick and hit me. A guy came by and started telling them: “let him go, he is my colleague and he is an OK guy”. While he was pulling me out of there, they were still hitting me. Another guy helped me get out of the Parliament, hiding my bloody face with a towel. I would like to thank those two brave men that helped me. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know if I would’ve got out of there alive. “Luckily” I ended up with just a concussion, but no broken nose or bones. During the attack in the press-centre there was no security from the Parliament nor the police, no one to defend the MPs and the journalists, Dmitar Tanurov for Fairpress.
The other journalist who was injured in the Parliament didn’t want to comment these attacks because of fear due to the current situation in Macedonia and the fact that he still doesn’t know who the attacker was.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called upon the Macedonian police to solve this attack as soon as possible and to swiftly bring to justice those responsible for the attack on and threats to journalists. Nina Ognianova from CPJ-a emphasised that the police have a responsibility to protect citizens, including journalists, regardless of which politicians hold power. She added that mobs cannot be allowed to attack journalists and that this is especially shameful for a nation which is seeking membership in the European Union.