Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Saying You39re Macedonian Is Not Enough
Press Release

Saying You're Macedonian Is Not Enough

You need to take action. Otherwise, everything Macedonian will continue to be given away to those who want us eradicated. You'll be forever known as a "North Macedonian" from "North Macedonia" — terms specifically designed to eradicate our name, identity, culture, heritage, language, and history.

Saying you're Macedonian is not enough. Simply attending Macedonian events is not enough. Complaining about the brutality of the past several years without taking action is not enough.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International does not stand idly by. We've been leading the Macedonian cause for almost four decades, with concrete human rights projects throughout all of partitioned Macedonia and international lobbying for our name and rights.

And Macedonians were winning.

The Republic of Macedonia was recognized with its proper name, despite intense lobbying by Greece, and use of the ridiculous terms "FYROM" and "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" were in rapid decline. MHRMI was given credit by dozens of foreign governments exactly for this recognition. With tremendous support from MHRMI, Macedonians throughout Aegean Macedonia defied the Greek government and secret police and began holding Macedonian festivals with the singing of proud and patriotic Macedonian songs. Macedonians in Pirin Macedonia, also with immense support from MHRMI, showed the same defiance and gathered in huge numbers at festivals to commemorate Macedonian heroes and celebrate Macedonian culture. MHRMI opened the first-ever Macedonian language schools in Mala Prespa and got Macedonians elected to office in Albania to advocate for Macedonian rights.

Then the West stepped in to fully support our oppressors.

Why? They were desperate to increase NATO membership and increase their control in the region. Greece adamantly pledged to veto Macedonia's membership unless our name was changed. Politicians in Macedonia could have adamantly said no, our name is Macedonia, and the issue would be done. But they agreed to continue negotiating and the rest is history. The West chose the path of least resistance — Macedonians.

Unfortunately, high-profile and wealthy Macedonians in the West chose to go along, claiming that their silence about the forced name change is "diplomacy". Agreeing to give away everything that we are, everything that our babi and dedoj fought for, is not "diplomacy". Toeing the brutally ironic US line about "spreading democracy and human rights", without exposing that it is the US leading the deterioration of our democracy and human rights only enables more anti-Macedonian actions.

And we've seen an exponential increase in attacks on Macedonians.

Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia are beaten by riot police, imprisoned for dissenting, subjected to brutal prison conditions, and threatened by regime officials with major repercussions for their family members. The governments of Greece and Bulgaria are already using the forced name change as "proof" that Macedonians "don't exist" and as justification to crack down on any expression of Macedonian identity, with neo-Nazis and secret police attacking and threatening Macedonians. Bulgaria has seen Greece's "success" in imposing the name change and made its own demands on erasing Macedonians' identity and history in exchange for lifting its veto of Macedonia's EU membership bid and is even using Macedonian politicians' willingness to be "diplomatic" to deny the existence of Macedonians in Albania, claiming that they are "truly Bulgarian". These tactics have also spread worldwide, especially in the West, where our oppressors our pointing to the imposed treaties with Greece and Bulgaria as "proof" that we have no right to use our own Macedonian name and identity. The simple answer to the demands to negotiate — and change — who we are should have been met with a resounding NO. The anti-Macedonian demands would have ended.

Strength is respected and what was, and is, needed.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International has that strength. We condemn and expose those who violate Macedonians' rights. We educate and appeal for action from all others. We are internationally known and respected and have, in the face of the exponential increase of anti-Macedonian attacks, secured a greater amount of support — from the West and worldwide — than our oppressors could have imagined. The tide is turning.

Further, with MHRMI's unwavering support and in spite of enormous pressure, Macedonians throughout partitioned Macedonia are not only continuing our joint activities — we are exponentially increasing them.

But we need that extra push. Join us. Get involved with our advocacy. See the list of our crucial activities below and make a donation. Help us return our name, put an end to the eradication of everything Macedonian, and secure our human rights as who we are and have always been — Macedonians from Macedonia:

  • The crucial Our Name Is Macedonia campaign which demands a return of Macedonia's name and the reversal of all anti-Macedonian treaties;
  • Funding and opening Macedonian-language schools and classes in the Balkans, including the Centre for the Macedonian Language in Greece, and successfully defending multiple lawsuits against it by Greek nationalists;
  • International lawsuits aimed at granting and guaranteeing human rights for Macedonians, including freedom for political prisoners and the return of Macedonia's name, with over a dozen victories at the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Funding Macedonian cultural festivals, commemorations, protests, and rallies throughout all of partitioned Macedonia in order to advocate for our Macedonian name, identity and human rights;
  • Lobbying and meeting with international heads of state, foreign ministers, diplomats, political parties, and human rights organizations securing a tremendous rise in support for Macedonians;
  • Attendance and participation at United Nations, European, and other international human rights conferences dramatically increasing exposure for the plight of Macedonians;
  • Funding of human rights offices and cultural centres for Macedonians in Aegean and Pirin Macedonia, Mala Prespa, Golo Brdo, Gora and Jabuka resulting in a tremendous rise in grassroots advocacy and demand for human rights;
  • Funding successful election campaigns for Macedonians in Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Kosovo in order to better advocate for Macedonian human rights, including the first Macedonian elected to Albanian parliament;
  • Support for Macedonian human rights activists and political prisoners who have been incarcerated for advocating for Macedonian rights;
  • Funding of media including television and radio stations and programs, newspapers, books, and publications for Macedonians throughout partitioned Macedonia, whose access to media is denied solely because they are Macedonian.

Donate at or e-transfer/contact us at

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