Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Macedonia
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||26 March 2003|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Macedonia, 26 March 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747c643f.html [accessed 29 August 2015]|
Slander against an NGO37
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of Macedonia has been subjected this year to a smear campaign which illustrates the distrust and even hostility of the State's institutions against NGOs and the media; conspiracy theories and nationalist feelings are used to discredit the work of civic organisations. In particular, in an interview granted to the daily Vecer and the A1 and Sitel networks in early January 2002, the Minister of the Interior called Ms. Mirjana Najcevska, President of the Committee, "Public Enemy No. 1", "anti-Macedonian" and "advocate for the Albanians". These statements were made at a time when the Minister had just received the Annual Report of the Helsinki Committee. The declarations were amplified by the official media and the Orthodox Church, which strongly criticised the Committee for its denunciation of the new police and army special services as mono-ethnic and mono-religious in composition.
In September 2002, Ms. Najcevska was again slandered following circulation of a press release questioning the political neutrality of the police in the run-up to the elections. Ms. Najcevska's husband, Mr. Sasko Todorovski, also a member of the Committee, was removed from his post as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the Council of Europe.
[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]
37. Cf. Urgent Appeal MKD 001/0102/OBS 003.