Comprehensive and straightforward human rights report

Civil fully supports this year’s Report on Human Rights Practices of the US State Department, and testifies that concerns about the human rights situation in Macedonia are justified and accurate

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PHOTO: Vanco Dzambaski

The Macedonia Report on Human Rights Practices for 2013 by the U.S. Department of State is an objective view of the human rights situation in the country. It is a comprehensive and straightforward report that outlines the major areas of human rights and freedoms violations throughout the year. The Report rightfully notes the Macedonian “government’s failure to fully respect the rule of law, including by blurring state and party activities, interfering in the judiciary and the media, and selective prosecution of political opponents, as well as significant levels of government corruption and police impunity”. Furthermore, the Report detects “political interference, inefficiency, favoritism toward well placed persons, prolonged judicial processes, and corruption” that characterizes the judicial system in the Republic of Macedonia.

The U.S. Department of State’s Report recognized the credibility of reports on the existence of political prisoners in the country, a problem that was addressed by numerous organizations in the country and abroad. Mistreatment of detainees and prisoners, poor conditions and overcrowding in some of the country’s prisons and mental institutions, restrictions on the ability of Roma to leave the country; restrictions on access to asylum; domestic violence against women and children; discrimination against persons with disabilities; tensions between the ethnic Albanian and Macedonian communities; discrimination against Roma and other ethnic minorities; societal discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons; anti-union discrimination; child labor, and inadequate enforcement of labor laws – this all is on the list of human rights abuses in the Republic of Macedonia, included in the Report, and that is not the end. The Report also identifies the government’s interference in “high-profile cases involving abuse of office or misuse of official position to coerce officials or party members or intimidate key opposition leaders”.

Civil – Center for Freedom fully supports the forthrightness of this year’s Report, and testifies that concerns about the human rights situation in Macedonia are justified and accurate. Moreover, each of the areas of concern can be supported by many more cases of human rights abuse, committed by power structures in the country, where level of politicization has reached its totality.

We call upon the government to change the course and practices regarding the rule of law and democracy, particularly in the area of human rights and freedoms, as defined by the country’s constitution and international standards. We strongly condemn policies and practices that perpetrate or encourage human rights abuses and call for immediate steps towards improvement of the human rights situation in the country.

We expect that this Report will be used to issue a new round of accusations against USA in an attempt to divert the public attention from the evidence that serious human rights abuse is a fact of life in the Republic of Macedonia. We appeal to the government controlled media to avoid further perversion of the facts and cease incorrect reporting on this document.

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