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Norwegian NGO Denounces Greece's Harassment of Macedonian Writer

September 1, 2000


Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression (NFFE) is a non-governmental organisation established in 1995 by 15 major organisations within the mediafield in Norway to promote the observance of the internationally recognised article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Through our source, Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), Athens, we have been informed that, on 30 May 2000, writer Vasko Karadza, citizen and resident of Skopje, Macedonia, was denied entrance into Greece at the Greek-Macedonian border because he was "registered in an inadmissible list" (sic). This occurred even though he held a legal visa issued by the Greek Consulate in Skopje on 29 May. Karadza had previously visited Greece in 1998, when he was invited by a state National Book Centre to participate in the Balkan Writers Laboratory.

Karadza is an author who has published books in Macedonia and Greece. He was born in Greece, and left the country during the civil war, when he was stripped of his citizenship. In 1982, when the Greek state gave a blank amnesty to all civil war refugees abroad, it exempted those who "were not of Greek origin" (i.e. those who identified as Macedonians). The latter have frequently been arbitrarily "blacklisted" as "undesirable" and denied entry into Greece. Many Macedonians, whether born in Greece or not, who are active in Macedonian human rights or cultural organizations abroad, are being denied entry into the country.

The NFFE denounce the harassment of the writer and the practice of "blacklisting" undesirable writers and activists. We take this opportunity to point to the fact that Greece, as a signatory of the OSCE documents and the Stability Pact, is committed to facilitate rather than hinder the freedom of movement across its borders.

Sincerely

Carl Morten Iversen Beate Slydal
administrator advisor

Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression
Menneskerettighetshuset
Urtegata 50
N-0187 OSLO, Norway
Phone: + 47 - 22 67 79 64
and + 47 - 22 68 77 03
Facsimile: + 47 - 22 57 00 88


     
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