Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
MHRMI Karakamisheva-Jovanovska Launch European Court of Human Rights Case to Overturn Forced Macedonia Name Change
Press Release

MHRMI, Karakamisheva-Jovanovska Launch European Court of Human Rights Case to Overturn Forced Macedonia Name Change

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International has launched another case in the European Court of Human Rights, the latest being in conjunction with Tanja Karakamisheva-Jovanovska, Full Professor of Macedonian Constitutional Law.

Leading up to, and as a result of the forced name change — illegally imposed by the regime in Macedonia through the "Prespa Agreement" — serious violations of human rights have been committed against Macedonians and continue to increase exponentially.

At its core, the illegal, forced name change violates multiple human rights conventions to which Macedonia has ratified, is in direct violation of Macedonian and international law, the Macedonian constitution, parliamentary rules and procedures, and thus, has no standing.

Further, the forced name change is a direct cause of the vast human rights violations being committed against Macedonians and, as such, MHRMI and Karakamisheva-Jovanovska seek to overturn it and reinstate Macedonia's name based on, and by invoking, the following Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, all of which the regime continuously violates:

  • Protocol 1, Article 2 - The right to education
  • Article 3 – Prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
  • Article 6 – Right to a fair trial
  • Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
  • Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Article 10 – Freedom of expression
  • Article 13 – Right to an effective remedy
  • Article 14 – Prohibition of discrimination

Professor Karakamisheva-Jovanovska explains:

"Human rights and the need for their constant and consistent affirmation and protection is a motive for action from every reasonable human being. When human rights, whether individual or collective, are blatantly trampled upon, the most natural human reaction is to embark on their unreserved protection. Hence, the world should understand that we, the Macedonians will never give up our Macedonian identity, our Macedonian language, our history and civilization, our past, present, future. At a time when the existence of the Macedonian people and the Macedonian language is most brazenly denied by European institutions and European states, there is no other way but to express resistance to these actions and loudly protest against this cultural genocide. In the 21st century, it is impermissible to change the identity of a nation just because of the whims of that nation's neighbours. We call on the international community to defend our rights to be who we are - Macedonians from Macedonia."

Trajche Torov, the lawyer retained by MHRMI and Karakamisheva-Jovanovska in this case and by MHRMI in other, ongoing ECHR cases, describes the latest court case:

"The forced name change also caused a forced identity change on all Macedonians, and, for a person living in the Republic of Macedonia, such as Karakamisheva-Jovanovska, a forced change of her identity on her personal documents, censorship of her thoughts as an author, writer, and educator, a profoundly negative impact on the mindset of her children, the censorship of their school books and change of their curriculum to suppress any expression of Macedonian identity, the removal and desecration of Macedonian cultural and historical monuments, limitations imposed on the Macedonian language, and mass foreign interventionism in executing the ban on expressing Macedonian ethnic identity and self-determination. Karakamisheva-Jovanovska first sought protection by the domestic Constitutional Court, but due to its clear lack of impartiality and independence from the regime, her case was expressly rejected. So we now lodged a case in front of the European Court of Human Rights. We hope that the ECHR will protect her human rights and stop the modern-day cultural genocide of Macedonians."

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. MHRMI demands respect for Macedonia's name, identity and human rights for oppressed Macedonians in the Balkans. For more information: 1-416-850-7125,,,,, #OurNameIsMacedonia