Macedonian Human Rights Movement International President, Bill Nicholov, met with Annie Lagueux, Director of Policy for Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, and called for Canada to immediately reverse its ill-advised support of the forced name change of the Republic of Macedonia and to condemn the Zoran Zaev regime for its continued abuse of Macedonians' human rights.
The forced name change was insisted upon by Greece, which pledged to veto Macedonia's NATO and EU membership bids unless Macedonia changed its name, identity, and history, handed the terms "Macedonia" and "Macedonian" to Greece, and renounced the existence of any Macedonians within Greece's borders. Bulgaria followed suit by pledging to veto Macedonia's EU membership unless its demands were met, including a declaration claiming that Macedonians are "really Bulgarian",renouncing the existence of Macedonians within Bulgaria's borders, and rewriting Macedonian - and Jewish - history to erase any reference to Bulgarian persecution of Macedonians, including the removal of any reference to Bulgaria's alliance with Nazi Germany during WWII, occupation of Macedonia, and deportation of over 7,000 Macedonian Jews to the Treblinka death camp in Poland.
The response by NATO and EU countries, Canada included, was not condemnation, but celebration, that "Euro-Atlantic integration" can proceed for Macedonia - by the complete denial of Macedonians' most basic of human rights.
Nicholov pointed out to Lagueux that if this case were applied to any other country, it would have been met with immediate condemnation. France would not be expected to abandon its ethnic identity, declare that its "roots are German" and that Germany "liberated" France during WWII. Indigenous groups in North America would not be expected to celebrate English colonization and brutalization.
In executing the EU and NATO's wishes, the regime of Zoran Zaev forced through the name change illegally and brutally silenced - and continues to silence - any dissent, 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.
Nicholov highlighted Canada's hypocrisy in supporting the Zaev regime while simultaneously condemning other dictatorial regimes for the same human rights violations. He called for an immediate policy change towards Macedonia and equal treatment for 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, instagram.com/MacedonianHumanRights #OurNameIsMacedonia