Journalist Saliu’s Arrest Sparks Numerous Reactions

PortaliX editor and journalist Furkan Saliu was arrested on Sunday during a football match in the village of Sredno Konjari.

As the Interior Ministry said, 20 minutes before the end of the match, there was an attempt for a fight between the home supporters and away players. Services securing the match prevented the attempt, while the match was stopped.

Saliu, according to the Ministry, attacked Rapid Deployment Unit members, while a gun was found in the trunk of his car. The editorial team of PortaliX said the Unit’s actions were fully orchestrated and represented an attempt to pressure free journalism practiced by the portal.

Caretaker Interior Minister Pance Toskovski said that he understood reactions, but the Ministry had to treat everyone who attacked officers according to legal procedures. Saliu himself said on social media he was being held at the Avtokomanda Police Situation.

“I regret that with my behaviour, I perhaps impacted on the situation escalating to the point where I was handcuffed,” he said, stressing that he hadn’t attacked officers.

As he pointed out, everything was caught on camera, but police erased materials at the Station. Regarding the gun, he said he had a licence.

“Without a warrant and without me, as the car owner, being present, the car was searched by the special Unit,” he stated.

Saliu was released later on Sunday evening. Following his release, Saliu reiterated that that the police searched his car without him being present, with the aim, as he said, of deleting the videos of his violent arrest and that his licensed gun has not been loaded. He also denied having attacked a police officer.