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SEEMO concern at Greek refusal to grant entry to journalists

SEEMO concerned at Greek refusal to grant entry to journalists

Vienna, 7 August 2013 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is concerned at the Greek authorities apparent denial of entry to a certain number of journalists.

The case of Ivana Kostovska, foreign policy editor of the Macedonian daily Dnevnik is but the latest in a series of cases in recent years in which journalists from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) / Republic of Macedonia (ROM) have been denied entry to Greece.

According to information received by SEEMO, Kostovska was denied entry into Greece on 2 June 2013 by the Greek border authorities. She was traveling to Greece in a private capacity, by tourist bus, for a one-week vacation. The Greek border authorities did not provide an explanation. Kostovska told SEEMO she had to sign a document written in Greek and Serbian, as she was denied entry.

SEEMO condemns such steps by the Greek authorities. Greece, as a member of the European Union, is expected to uphold the rights of freedom of movement and press freedom, one of the pillars of democracy. It is not acceptable for a state to deny entry to a professional journalist, whether they are travelling privately or for professional reporting. Decisions like this prevent the ability of journalists to work freely and hinder the free flow of information.

SEEMO urges the authorities in Athens to cease such practices, and to ensure that cases like this do not happen in the future.

SEEMO also asks the EU institutions and Council of Europe (COE) to investigate the practice by the authorities in Athens of denying entry to certain journalists who are holders of passports from FYROM / ROM.

ENDS

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