Participants in a religious event pull a cross out of the river Vardar in Skopje during Epiphany on January 19. A journalist covering the event says a security guard attacked her when she tried to interview one of the people taking part. (AFP/Robert Atanasovski)

In Macedonia, journalist attacked covering religious event

January 23, 2019 1:23 PM ET

Mirjana Mircevska-Jovanović, a reporter for Kanal 5, a privately owned television station, was attacked in the capital, Skopje, on January 19, 2019 while covering an event celebrating the Orthodox Christian holiday of Epiphany, according to local news site Telma.

Mircevska-Jovanović told CPJ that a guard hired by the church attacked her. In a Kanal 5 video, Mircevska-Jovanović said that that the security guard insulted, pushed, and dragged her after she tried to ask a participant a question. The journalist was taken to a hospital with injuries to her arm and neck, Telma reported.

Kanal 5 filed an official complaint at the police, the local English-language news site Skopje Diem reported. Mircevska-Jovanović told CPJ that the police have started an investigation.

The press office of the Macedonian government did not immediately respond to CPJ's questions sent via text message to the government spokesperson. Father Boban Mitevski of the Skopje Diocese of the Macedonian Orthodox Church told Telma that the church is against all kinds of violence and that everyone has to do their job professionally, and called for forgiveness from both sides.

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia, an independent professional group, strongly condemned the attack in a statement and added that the government said last year it would have zero tolerance toward violence against media.

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