SDSM member of Parliament and recently dismissed Secretary General of the party Aleksandar Kiracovski sent a letter requesting an apology from Republika.
We are bound by law to publish it, no matter how nebulous. We are also bound to state our side of the case.
The request, sent through a legal representative: For a long time our empowering party has been targeted by insults and slander published in succession by your internet news site www.republika.mk. While having great respect and due attention to the freedom of expression and showing great patience to your behavior, this it is unacceptable in a democratic society, and we are forced to do respond.
On June 17th 2019, the news site www.republika.mk, in its Dvogled section, published an article titled “Ex SDSM activist asks Aleksandar Kiracovski how did he earn the money to buy a new house and car in two years?” which contains a series of slanders aimed at Aleksandar Kiracovski.
Given articles 13 and 14 of the law on civic responsibility for insult and slander, we deny all your claims as FALSE and we demand a PUBLIC APOLOGY and a retraction of the article from your news site.
The apology must be published within 48 hours after you receive this request, in accordance with article 13 paragraph 3 from the law.
The response: It is true that somebody needs to apologize here, but we are not going to do that. There are several reasons for this:
– The request states that the article was published in our Dvogled section. That is not correct, it was published in our section on news from Macedonia. The articles published in Dvogled are satirical fiction and we would not want to embarrass Kiracovski by thinking he expects an apology for articles who are clearly marked, in Macedonian and in English, as made up.
– The article is based on a claim made by a third party, Kiracovski’s fellow Bitola resident Dusko Ilievski. The article does not contain our editorial opinions or comments, and we can’t apologize for someone else’s opinion and information even if we wanted to. Which we don’t. To make matters even more absurd, when Kiracovski announced that he is demanding an aplogy and will be pressing charges for slander, Ilievski called on Kiracovski to aim all legal options toward him, and asked him to leave the media be. We presented both positions, the one from Kiracovski and the one from Ilievski, and in case Kiracovski missed it, here it is again: Source of corruption allegations against Kiracovski asks him not to sue the media who merely carried his claims. We call on the former SDSM Secretary General to direct his denials and possible lawsuits at this address. Although, given that the fish rots from its head, we would not be surprised if Kiracovski follows the example of his party leader Zoran Zaev who also, a year ago, demanded an apology for a personal opinion published in Republika and threatened to sue.
– We ask Kiracovski if he is aware, as a member of Parliament, what kind of message is he sending to the press when he threatens media outlets? Is he aware of the damage he is causing the reputation of thje Parliament when he is brazenly disqualifying media outlets? Is this his way of confirming that we live in a repressive society, a political system which, under other circumstances, he himself would have qualified as a regime? Mr. Kiracovski, it is totalitarian regimes that silence the media. You say we are not a serious media outlet, but if we weren’t you wouldn’t have tried to silence us for so long, using repression, physical and financial methods. You are well aware of the influence Rpeublika has on the public opinion in the Republic of Macedonia.
– The one who should apologize is Mr. Kiracovski, with his ratchet that includes the executive and the judiciary power, and the “colored revolutionaries”, who have threatened Republika. We’ve been exposed to their intimidation for years. The Macedonian public and international representatives are informed about the threats, blackmails, lawsuits, the attacks on our journalists and photographers, the trials and attempts to delegitimize our editors and journalists, including the attempt by a group of Colored Revolution activists and NGOs supported by the Foundation Open Society to sentence our manager to three years in prison for an 2016 article for which we have already been fined. You need to apologize for the beating of our photographer who was reporting from your party HQ, and for the threats we keep receiving from your party members, none of which are resolved in the courts. You need to apologize for the pressure you exerted ahead of the referendum through Twitter and Facebook, which caused significant financial damages to our outlet.
We have nothing to apologize for. We are doing our job responsibly and you want to silence objective reporting by Republika.mk. Instead of lying to he people and asking them to wear rose colored glasses, it would be better if you started working to secure a rose future for the people. Killing Republika won’t keep your truth alive.