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Council of Europe commissioner urges Bulgaria to register ethnic Macedonian part

February 14, 2008

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Listen the interview with Thomas Hammarberg

Thomas Hammarberg Bulgaria should respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and register OMO [United Macedonian Organization] "Ilinden" - PIRIN [Party of Economic Development and Integration of the Population] (the political party of Macedonians living in Bulgaria), Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg says in an interview with BBC - Macedonian language programme.
It is very important for Bulgaria to respect the Court's decisions, and I will raise the issue before (Bulgarian) authorities, says Hammarberg, who is paying a visit to the country for meetings with government's and NGOs representatives.
Bulgaria's refusal to act in line with each Court's decision brings 'serious concern' to the Council of Europe, Hammarberg says, adding that his visit to Bulgaria is aimed at defining the country's problems in terms of human rights and providing for more constructive dialogue with the authorities on the matter.
I will focus on the treatment of children in institutions, functioning of the judicial system, situation in prisons, and naturally on the minority rights, Hammarberg says.
Whether someone is part of a minority or group is not up to the authorities. The problem is much more delicate - if a government gets a confirmation that a person belongs to some minority than that person is entitled to protection in line with the European standards for human rights, and there is a great number of such rights that derive from recognizing a minority, Hammarberg says.

Source: MIA news agency, Skopje, in English 1906 gmt 13 Feb 08

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