MHRMI Calls on Bulgarian Authorities to Respect Freedom of Assembly

Source: Macedonian Human Rights Movement International

Press Release – July 21, 2006

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On July 30, 2006 in Mosomishkite Banji, Bulgaria, (near the city of Gotse Delchev) Macedonian organizations and their supporters will gather to commemorate Ilinden, the Macedonian uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1903.

Macedonians in Bulgaria continuously face discrimination and intimidation when asserting their ethnic Macedonian identity and have been arrested, detained, threatened and even beaten. During this event last year, the Bulgarian ultra-nationalist parliamentary party “VMRO-BND” organized a group of armed individuals with clubs and sticks that confronted the Macedonian celebrants evidently with the intent to harass, intimidate and possibly attack, the Macedonians at the event.

MHRMI calls on the international community, and specifically the European Union, to apply pressure on Bulgaria to put an end to its state-sponsored acts of oppression and to immediately recognize its large Macedonian minority and grant it the human rights that it is guaranteed by all international human rights conventions. Moreover, MHRMI calls on the European Union to make Bulgaria’s accession to the EU explicitly conditional on its recognition of its Macedonian minority.

MHRMI also calls on international media, human rights organizations and other interested parties to attend this event to monitor Bulgaria’s compliance with its legal obligations to protect its minority’s rights.

Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Address:
157 Adelaide St. West, Suite 434, Toronto, Canada M5H 4E7
Tel: 416-850-7125 Fax: 416-850-7127
e-mail: [email protected] website: www.mhrmi.org