Macedonian Human Rights Movement International President, Bill Nicholov, met with the Director of Amnesty International's European Office, Nils Muiznieks, and European Office Researcher, Jelena Sesar, and called for Amnesty International to denounce the name, identity and history change imposed on Macedonia and to condemn the associated and resulting human rights violations against Macedonians.
Issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, ending of police violence and unlawful imprisonment, and ending of ethnic-based discrimination, specifically toxic rhetoric and demonization, are core issues that Amnesty International advocates for and which have been violated leading up to, during and after the forced name change that was executed by the Zaev regime. These abuses not only affect Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia, but also the region, particularly in Greece and Bulgaria, and throughout the world.
For example, Zaev has taken brutal action against those who are critical of his policies, including: imprisonment of dissenters; ordering riot police to beat and arrest peaceful protesters; firing (from public and private sector jobs) of thousands of Macedonians; shutting down media and imposing prison sentences for journalists; blocking social media access for individuals and media outlets; outlawing and criminalizing the use of the term “Macedonia”; the investigation and intimidation of Macedonian civilians including physical attacks and arson; and the continued unlawful detention of Macedonian political prisoners who are subject to abhorrent prison conditions.
The forced redefinition of everything Macedonian has also given free rein to Greece and Bulgaria to pursue their policies of eradicating the existence of Macedonians' ethnic identity and to ramp up attacks on Macedonians – including Greek government enabled neo-Nazis physically attacking Macedonians, Bulgarian secret police detaining and threatening Macedonians, official government agencies completely wiping out any expression of Macedonians' ethnic identity, including the continued refusal to allow the registration of Macedonian associations (now citing the forced name change as a reason) and the daily, non-stop attacks, by the media and government officials, declaring that Macedonians are “sub-human”, “should be shot dead in the streets” (serving as a catalyst for increased hostility and violence against Macedonians) and the declaration – and celebration – by Greek and Bulgarian politicians that Macedonians are “no longer permitted” to use the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian”.
Nicholov concluded the meeting by reiterating MHRMI's call to Amnesty International – and to all interested in defending human rights – to denounce the forced name change, the multiple and growing human rights violations against Macedonians and to only use the terms "Macedonia" and "Macedonian" as the highly derogatory terms “North Macedonia” and “North Macedonian” are designed to negate Macedonians' ethnic origin and identity.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, instagram.com/MacedonianHumanRights #OurNameIsMacedonia