VMRO-DPMNE: To cover up scandals, MoI lied about terrorists arrests

Skopje, 8 August, 2018 - 16:33 (META) 

The opposition, VMRO-DPMNE, says that Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and SDSM are an embarrassment to Macedonia and are destroying the country’s reputation with lies and manipulation. They say yesterday they lied that the MoI arrested seven Macedonian citizens who fought with terrorists in Syria, and actually it was only a matter of making the arrest.

“To cover up scandals, abuses and crimes Zaev’s friends are caught up in, the Interior Ministry was yesterday again misused to misinform the public with a deliberate massive police action against terrorists and radicals. The truth is that the MoI was lying! “, VMRO-DPMNE said, claiming that because of the lie, Spasovski ha been in hiding yesterday, and the Ministry of Interior would not provide additional information as to when and where the radicals had been detained.

The opposition party says it was a case of repatriation, that is, the police action at the Skopje airport by radicals and arrested by the international coalition.

“The truth was revealed today by our partners in the Pentagon who pointed out that by July, Syrian Democratic Forces had captured 600 mercenaries from more than 40 countries. According to the international media, yesterday, Macedonian police were not involved in any action, only the repatriation of its citizens i.e. the transfer of detained Macedonian citizens at Skopje airport,” says the party.

Selmani: Police must learn that journalists are not the enemy

Skopje, 12 June, 2018 - 16:14 (META) 

The police must learn that journalists reporting from protests are not the enemy, but are also professionals on official duty, who need to be protected if attacked by participants at protests. They deserve protection, in accordance with domestic and international law, said the President of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), Naser Selmani, at a workshop in Skopje for improving the security of journalists during critical events, organized by AJM, MoI, and with support the OSCE.

“We are unanimous that violence against media workers is an unacceptable practice for a democratic country. As an important element in the functioning of democratic processes, they have the right to work in an environment free from threats and intimidation. Their mission to inform citizens and requests for reports from any government, will not be fulfilled while they work in conditions of fear and insecurity”, said Selmani.

The workshop is part of efforts to improve co-operation between journalists and the police, after the MoI and AJM signed a memorandum of cooperation last December.

Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski said that there must be zero tolerance concerning attacks on journalists.

“Unfortunately, in the last few years we have witnessed numerous attacks and intimidation towards journalists. There is no justification for such attacks. The government’s attitude is clear and we have said it repeatedly – zero tolerance for any attempt to jeopardize freedom of speech and expression”, said Spasovski.

At the opening of the event, Jeff Goldstein, deputy head of the OSCE mission, said that violence against journalists is not just verbal and physical attacks, but also consists of unlawful detentions, destruction of property, arbitrary raids on editorial offices or in the home of journalists, hate speech, attacks via social networks and threats of sexual assault on female journalists.

140.000 people attended the “Macedonia is Greek” protest, part of them clashed with anarchists

Athens, 4 February, 2018 - 19:13 (META) 

The Greek police announced that during the “Macedonia is Greek” protest, that is taking place in the center of Athens, 140.000 people attended the protest and they arrived there from all corners of Greece with 283 buses, reports the Macedonian information agency (MIA).

Parallel to the protest at the Syntagma square, only 800 meters away, anarchistic and antifascist organizations have organized a contra-protest which led to clashes, and the police reacted with teargas.

At the protest, the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, various metropolitan bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church and the organizers addressed the protestors.

Theodorakis criticized the Greek government and said that Macedonia is Greek and has asked for a referendum.

“If a Greek government is even considering to sign the approval for a composite name, there is no other choice but to ask the Greek nation about it. I call upon the MPs who have the right to call for a referendum” said Theodorakis.

The house of the Greek composer was sprayed with a red color before he went to attend the protest.

Memeti: Police violated the right to MPs immunity while taking them into custody

Skopje, 28 December, 2017 - 20:32 (META) 

The police violated the right to MPs immunity and the presumption of innocence when the three MPs were detained on November 28th, this year, as part of the 36 people detained who are suspects in the violence in Parliament on 27 April, the Ombudsman found.

According to the Ombudsman, the police in this case did not comply with the Rule book on the manner and performance of police matters.

At today’s briefing with journalists, the Ombudsman Ixhet Memeti informed that this situation was confirmed after a complaint was received from the Parliamentary Group of VMRO-DPMNE and the Coalition “For a Better Macedonia”.

Memeti said that a recommendation had been submitted to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Oliver Spasovski, where they requested to conduct a full inquiry for examining the manner in which the police officers acted on November 28th, 2017, and to establish responsibility and to sanction the violators of the rights of the MPs .

The Ombudsman additionally believes that it is also necessary to ask the question, why did the court issue an order for the apprehension and search of individuals who enjoy immunity, without it being previously taken away.

Baily: There must be responsibility for April 27th, but also the presumption of innocence

Skopje, 30 November, 2017 - 12:09 (META) 

Today, the US Ambassador to the country, Jess Baily, said that the US Embassy is closely following events related to the incident in Parliament which occurred on April 27th, and that the police, prosecution and justice systems must act transparently, while respecting the highest standards in carrying out this process .

“The police, the prosecution and the justice system must proceed transparently, with full respect for the highest standards of due process. The United States and the European Union have stressed that those responsible for April 27th must be held responsible for the events, but the process must also respect the presumption of innocence”, said Baily.

He emphasized that Parliament, in accordance with its role, is conducting important talks on the topic today.

“It’s Parliament’s role to talk about democratic governance,” pointed out the US ambassador, after today’s meeting between Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi and Laura Cooper, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the United States.

When asked whether Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Hoyt Brian Yee will be the new ambassador to Macedonia, Baily said that he is currently the US Ambassador and that, as far as he knows, the White House has not nominated anyone for this position so far.

“The one body that can tell you whether this is true or not is the White House”, said Ambassador Baily.

USA: Greater transparency and the respect of legal procedures is needed

Skopje, 29 November, 2017 - 16:20 (META) 

The US Embassy in Macedonia called for greater transparency and monitoring of the procedures to a shed light on what happened during the events in Parliament on April 27th .

“We are following the news of the arrests. We urge police and prosecutors to pursue these cases with absolute transparency and the highest respect for due process. While the perpetrators of the April 27 attacks must be held accountable for their actions, all individuals have the right of presumption of innocence” stated the US Embassy for Meta news agency when they were asked to comment on yesterday’s detainment of 36 people including MPs, regarding the violent attacks that took place in Parliament.

Regarding information that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Hoyt Bryan Yee will be the new US Ambassador of this country, the Embassy responded that they still don’t know who will be the next ambassador.

“President Trump has not nominated anyone to be the next US Ambassador to Macedonia. When he does, it will be announced publicly,” reads the statement from the US Embassy.

Selmani: The government wants to act like an editor in chief with the media

Skopje, 17 November, 2017 - 16:57 (META) 

For the Association of the Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the idea where the Government will be regulating the media content is absolutely unacceptable, stressed the President of AJN, Naser Selmani, during the meeting with OSCE’s new General Secretary Thomas Greminger, who is visiting the country.

“it is contrary to the best practices in the European democracies,” said Selmani and he stressed that imposing fines about the ways journalists report shows that the Government wants to act as an editor in chief with the media.

According to Selmani, the Government hasn’t shown any desire for a real debate with arguments about the model od financing the Macedonian Radio Television.”

“If the Government knows in advance that 0,7% of the state budget will have to be given to MRT then what would be the point of the debate about the law,” asked Selmani, as was stated in the announcement of the meeting.

According to the new package of laws, police work will now be controlled by the Prosecution

Skopje, 14 November, 2017 - 14:15 (META) 

The Ministry of Justice has begun preparing a package of amendments in several laws that should provide external independent control over the work of the police.

According to the announcement published today, the amendments will be made in the Laws for the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Prosecution, the Council of Public Prosecutors and the Criminal Code.

Preparations for the changes in the four laws began yesterday, and the new resolutions should be ready by November 24th.

The control of the work of the police – is regularly carried out by the Ministry of Interior and the prison officers, which is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, however,  according to the amendments to the laws, it will be carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The new legal resolutions, as stated today, stem from the standards prescribed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and rulings from the European Court of Human Rights.

Otherwise, according to current legal resolutions, the work of the police and its actions within the laws are controlled and examined by the Department of Internal Control within the Ministry of Interior, however, it was considered by the public as insufficient and problematic.

The AJM condemns the detainment of two journalists and wants answers from the MOI and the PPO

Skopje, 3 November, 2017 - 14:58 (META) 

The Association of Journalists in Macedonia claims that the attitude of the institutions is completely unacceptable and that their aim is to intimidate journalists and encourage self-censorship when covering certain court hearings.

Yesterday, Mahmuti and Uka, as stated in the statement by the AJM, were detained for six hours at a police station, on the grounds that they had been filming the judges during the trial. After releasing them from the police station, in a conversation with representatives of the Association, they said that the filming of the judges was just an excuse so they could be questioned because they had filmed members of the police in front of the court building.

The AJM says that the dilemma remains whether the police had a warrant for detaining the journalists because, as they claim from the Association, yesterday the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) told them that they had not issued a warrant, however, today the Prosecution claimed the opposite.

“We ask, what contributed to the change of attitude from the Public Prosecutor’s Office”, said the AJM.

Gruevski: Мass bribery, systematic threats and blackmail in the second round

Skopje, 29 October, 2017 - 19:44 (META) 

There were more irregularities in the second round than the first round, said the VMRO-DPMNE leader, Nikola Gruevski after he voted today at primary school “Kuzman Josifovski-Pitu” in the municipality of Kisela Voda.

“Unfortunately, during this period we didn’t get to see a democratic atmosphere. There was mass bribery among the public as never before in Macedonia, as well as, threats, intimidation and bribes on the citizens, mostly by activists from SDSM”, stated Gruevski.

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE said that in the past there had been attempts of bribery, but they had been minor and isolated incidents, and said “we are talking about mass bribery, which is under the protection of the police, which is controlled by SDSM”.

“People are being threatened that they’ll lose their jobs, especially in the administrative sector, where some are being charged. It is being done on a mass scale, its organized and systematic”, said Gruevski.

He emphasized that VMRO-DPMNE will not be broken, and their battle has just begun.