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US State Department Continues
to Misrepresent the Macedonian Minority in Greece


March 9, 2006


Macedonian Human Rights Movement International - Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) expresses its profound disapproval of the US State Department’s systematic policy of questioning the legitimacy of the Macedonian minority in Greece. Every year, the US State Department issues its “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices”, which perpetuates stereotypes against Macedonians rather than focusing on actual human rights abuses committed by Greece against Macedonians.

In an obvious attempt to appease Greek sensitivities to the Macedonian issue, the US State Department places the term Macedonian in quotation marks, refers to Macedonians as “Slavophones” and refers to the Macedonian language as “Slavo-Macedonian”, and a “Slavic dialect”.

Despite repeated requests by various human rights organizations, including MHRMI, Greek Helsinki Monitor, and Rainbow/Vinozhito, the US State Department reports are still grossly inadequate and mirror the official Greek position that the Macedonian minority is illegitimate. Greek Helsinki Monitor noted this long-standing problem in 2002:

“[The US State Department’s] attitude towards Macedonians in Greece, as reflected in the annual reports, cannot therefore be considered an oversight, or a result of lack of information; on the contrary it is a sustained and deliberate policy of complacency towards Greek authorities on the most sensitive human rights issue in Greece."

MHRMI calls on the US State Department to correct its past errors and issue an immediate press release to rectify its erroneous statements about the Macedonian minority in Greece.

Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Address: 157 Adelaide St. West, Suite 434, Toronto, Canada M5H 4E7
Tel: 416-850-7125 Fax: 416-850-7127
E-mail: info@mhrmi.org Website: www.mhrmi.org

     
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