Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Pirin Macedonia: Ethnic Macedonian Commemoration Hindered

On 29 July 1999, the mayor in Petrich prohibited the United Macedonian Organization (UMO) "Ilinden" from commemorating the anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising at the Samuilova Krepost [Castle of Samuil] near Petrich. The celebration was scheduled to take place on 2 August. The mayor motivated his decision with the fact that the organization was not registered and that students from local schools were carrying out their own commemoration at the castle at the same time. The decision has been challenged in court.

On 1 August, several UMO "Ilinden" activists tried to leave the town of Sandanski early so as not to be stopped by police on their way to a commemoration. Nevertheless, one minibus and five cars were turned back at the nearby village of Strumeshnica by a police patrol of about a dozen police officers. A plain-clothes policeman presented a decree of the district prosecutor prohibiting the commemoration.

Source: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC).
For further information please contact: BHC, Krassimir Kanev, tel.+359 2 951 62 95, E-mail