United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is disappointed at the findings of the 2021 Report, Freedom in the World, from advocacy group Freedom House, especially in the context of Macedonia.
The Report rates peoples’ access to political rights and civil liberties around the world. It concludes that overall global trends for these individual freedoms are in their 15th year of decline.
Macedonia is classified in the Report as a Transitional or Hybrid Regime with an overall dismal Democracyscore of only 46 out of 100, showing little to no improvement from the prior year. The Report concludes:
“Macedonia continues to struggle with corruption, and while the media and civil society participate in vigorous public discourse, journalists and activists face pressure and intimidation.”
UMD calls on the Macedonian government to operate with transparency, develop strong safeguards against corruption, allow for peaceful protest and honest journalism, and engage in effective judicial reform.
Metodija A. Koloski, President of the UMD, said:
“There’s a real sense of embarrassment whenever there is a new report ranking freedoms in Macedonia. This is a reflection on the governments that refuse to evolve and support their own people who are generally forward driven.
“Once again, we see that power rests too centrally: not enough is being done to protect the freedom of the press and guarantee civil liberties. It is hard to respect a government that, in the words of this Report, is “backsliding” democratically.
“If there is a positive, it is in the affirmation that UMD’s members, old and new, are continuing to support our education and advocacy work to bring awareness and tackle some of the problems highlighted in this Report.”