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Press Release

International Paralympic Committee - Show That you Respect Macedonia's Name

September 1, 2016

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Olympics Macedonian Human Rights Movement International & Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee

Macedonian Paralympians, like their Olympian counterparts, will be forced to enter the Rio Paralympics Opening Ceremony behind the letter E for Ex, putting a regional twist on the infamous F for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Paralympic website, like the Olympic one, lists Macedonia under T for The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Depending on the local language, Macedonian athletes have entered behind many letters, except M, of course, for the actual name of their country, Macedonia. Furthermore, Macedonian athletes are not permitted to use their own country name on their uniforms. See Macedonian sprinter, Riste Pandev, in the photo below racing against athletes from Indonesia, Afghanistan and Gabon. Pandev's uniform is blank. What an Olympic-sized slap in the face.

This spectacle occurs because Greece objects to Macedonia using its own name, and international institutions, at best, have no desire to stand up for common sense and the most basic of human rights or, at worst, theyre complicit in Greeces attempts to wipe Macedonia off the map. Those are the words of the first UN mediator for the name dispute, Robin ONeil.

Greece has admitted to initiating the artificial name dispute as a means to keep denying the existence of the Macedonian nation and to persecute the Macedonian minority that it inherited after Macedonias partition among Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania at the beginning of the twentieth century. Moreover, it is Greece that is trying to appropriate Macedonias name, not the other way around as it claims.

The vast majority of the world has recognized Macedonia using its proper name, so why does the most nonsensical dispute in UN history linger? Certainly the UN, IOC, FIFA, etc., have been unable to provide any reason. End the farcical name negotiations now and the "name dispute" will be over.

Call to action: The International Paralympic Committee has shown that it thinks independently of the corrupt IOC. Lets see proof in the Rio Paralympic Games. Join us in our demand that Macedonias name be respected. Macedonian Paralympians, wear 'Macedonia' on your jerseys and do not wait for permission to use your own country's name.

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Telephone: +49-228-2097-200 Fax: +49-228-2097-209
Twitter: @Paralympics


Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information:,, facebook,, 1-416-850-7125.

Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental organisation that advocates before governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other excluded groups throughout the world are recognised, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more information please visit, email or via +61 3 9329 8960.

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