Macedonian Human Rights Movement International condemns the Zoran Zaev regime's latest tactic in maintaining its grip on power in the Republic of Macedonia. In order to prevent a no-confidence vote on November 11, 2021, the Zaev regime kidnapped Kastriot Rexhepi, a member of the ethnic Albanian party Besa, leaving the opposition coalition with 60 MPs - one short of the 61 needed for quorum.
The opposition coalition submitted the no-confidence motion, with 61 signatures, on November 8, 2021. The Zaev regime quickly moved to target MPs in the opposition and ultimately abducted Rexhepi, who was prevented from appearing in the November 11 parliamentary session. He was unable to be located or reached, resulting in a frantic search, and amid calls to police and condemnation of the Zaev regime by Besa, VMRO-DPMNE, Levica and other parties in the opposition coalition. A cryptic message was later posted on Rexhepi's Facebook page, followed by a scripted video posted several hours later - all fueling concern for his well-being.
Unfortunately, such tactics are commonplace in the Zaev regime, which infamously held eight opposition MPs in parliamentary chambers against their will until they followed orders to vote to change Macedonia’s name. The MPs, with women especially targeted, were blackmailed, bribed and threatened with prison sentences, including threats to their families.
Further tactics employedby the Zaev regime include, but are not limited to: the imprisonment of dissenters; riot police attacking, beating and arresting 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.
Tragically, instead of condemning the Zaev regime, NATO and EU member-states have chosen to enable it in order to fulfill their own misguided foreign policy objectives. Yet, they have the gall to condemn other international regimes for the same human rights abuses.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International demands equal treatment for Macedonians and specifically calls on the international community to demand the immediate release of Rexhepi, all Macedonian political prisoners, and to condemn the Zaev regime for its continued human rights violations, including the forced name, identity and history change imposed on 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, email@example.com, mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, instagram.com/MacedonianHumanRights #OurNameIsMacedonia