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Macedonian TV Crew Denied Visas

September 22, 1998

(GHM/IFEX) - Greek Helsinki Monitor was informed that a Macedonian Television (MTV) crew was refused entry visas by the Greek Liaison Office in Skopje. The crew intended to cover the trial of the Macedonian minority party Rainbow; on 15 September, Rainbow was on trial in Greece for the use of the Macedonian mother tongue. The Greek authorities had been formally informed of the request on 9 September through a MTV letter.

Two weeks prior, the same crew was given visas in a matter of hours to cover Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Buzlevski's visit to Greece. According to GHM, one can conclude that, this time, Greek authorities were simply trying to limit coverage of the embarrassing trial, which ended with the acquittal of the Rainbow leaders and the implicit recognition of the right to henceforth freely use the Macedonian language, both orally and in writing.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou: protesting the refusal of the visas stressing that one of the fundamental principles of open societies is the uninhibited flow of information.

Appeals to

Mr. George Papandreou
Alternate Foreign Minister
Athens, Greece
Fax: +30 1 3394195

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

Greek Helsinki Monitor & Minority Rights Group - Greece
P.O. Box 51393
GR-14510 Kifisia, Greece
Tel. +30-1-620.01.20
Fax +30-1-807.57.67

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