Macedonia


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Macedonia Human Rights

General Country Conditions:

Despite the general improvement in human rights issues since the country's 2001 armed conflict between ethnic Albanian insurgents and the state's police and military forces, Macedonia's record on human rights faces both several persistent problems as well as new concerns.

First, while there has been limited progress made in specific cases, the Macedonian government continues to demonstrate impunity in prosecuting war crimes committed during the 2001 conflict. In particular, the government has been slow to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on cases still outstanding. The government has also acted with impunity in response to old and new accusation of torture and ill-treatment when in police custody.

Second, discrimination on grounds of ethnicity and gender continues in state institutions and at large, especially as it concerns Roms. This is despite the government's National Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion, which has seen little progress in its implementation. A recent public information campaign was also seen to advocate restricting women's constitutional guaranteed reproductive rights. The trafficking of women through Macedonia and domestic abuse also remain issues in need of further action. Furthermore, Macedonia's new draft law on discrimination has been accused of itself been discriminatory by failing to mention discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Third, the majority of over 1,700 refugees, mainly Roma and Ashkalia from Kosovo, currently seeking asylum in Macedonia, continue to be denied access to a full, fair and effective procedure for determining their need for international protection.

Finally, recent government actions have generated alarm over freedom of expression and church-state separation. Plans to build a church on the central square of Macedonia's capital, Skopje, were supported by the government through the sale of land to the Macedonian Orthodox Church for a nominal price. This move was interpreted by many citizens as the government endorsement of a particular religious platform, an interpretation bolstered by now scrapped plans to introduce religious education in state primary schools. Such moves risk exacerbating tensions between Macedonia's two largest ethnic groups, ethnic Macedonians, who chiefly share an Orthodox Christian heritage, and ethnic Albanians, who in Macedonia tend to share a Muslim heritage. Furthermore, a protest of the proposed church lead by university students from the School of Architecture resulted. The demonstrators were outnumbered and attacked by counter-demonstrators, apparently spontaneously organized by the Macedonian Orthodox church; the police reportedly failed to intervene to protect the architecture students, indeed some media reports described police officers as "passively observing the clash." Responding to these events representatives of the international community in Skopje called on the government to guarantee freedom of expression.

Macedonia Newsroom



February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

December 3, 2015 • Press Release

Macedonia: Tear gas and rubber bullets as border tensions mount

Amid increasing tension and violent clashes in the policing of refugees and migrants protesting at the Greek-Macedonian border, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Macedonia) border police must show restraint and comply fully with international policing standards, said Amnesty International today.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 21, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Macedonia 2013

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Head of state Gjorge Ivanov Head of government Nikola Gruevski Relations between the Macedonian and ethnic Albanian populations deteriorated. Relatives of missing persons abducted in 2001 were denied access to justice. Conditions in places of detention fell short of minimum standards. Background The European Commission again recommended in October …

December 13, 2012 • Press Release

Historic Ruling on Europe’s Role in CIA Renditions Is a Milestone in the Fight Against Impunity

Today’s ruling on the CIA’s detention and rendition of German national Khaled El-Masri is a historic moment and a milestone in the fight against impunity because for the first time it holds a European state accountable for its involvement in the secret U.S.-led programs, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said.

May 21, 2012 • Report

European Court of Human Rights Hears Key Case Concerning European Complicity in the US-led Secret Detentions and Renditions Program

This public statement was released to coincide with the hearing at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights of the case of Khaled el-Masri, a victim of US rendition and secret detention in Europe.

September 1, 2011 • Press Release

Amnesty International Calls on Macedonian Authorities to Deliver Justice to Victims of War Crimes

Amnesty International is calling on the Macedonian authorities to reverse immediately a parliamentary decision which will have the effect of denying justice, truth and reparation to the victims.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Macedonia 2010

Head of state Gjorge Ivanov (succeeded Branko Crvenovski in May) Head of government Nikola Gruevski Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 2 million Life expectancy 74.1 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 17/16 per 1,000 Adult literacy 97 per cent Little progress was made in prosecuting war crimes arising from the 2001 internal conflict. Measures were …