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Premises of A1 TV headquarters allegedly blocked by police in Skopje

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 26 November 2010 - The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South and East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is concerned at the recent alleged blockade of the premises of the A1 TV headquarters in Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia/FYROM.

According to information received by SEEMO, during the evening of 25 November 2010 the police blocked the entrance of the premises of the A1 TV station, preventing the free movement of journalists and media staff and without offering an explanation as to why it was forbidden to enter or leave the building.

After several hours, the police published a statement claiming they had not blockaded the television station but were merely dispatched to assist tax authorities in carrying out an audit of several companies registered at the same address.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: "We do not have a problem with the financial inspection of companies; however, when journalists, cameramen, and other media staff are prevented from exercising their function without any clear explanation, as in Skopje last night, an unhealthy atmosphere of governmental pressure is created. It could and should have been avoided."

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