All investigations against civil society organizations and foundations that began in 2016, and been taking place for most of 2017, have now been officially closed, said Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovki at today’s meeting between representatives of the two dozen organizations.

The meeting was attended by the Director of the Public Security Bureau, Lazo Velkovski, the Director of Financial Intelligence, Blazo Trendafilov and the Director of the Financial Police, Arafat Muaremi. He assured the participants that suspicions had not been confirmed, ie “there is no evidence against those subject to criminal proceedings”.

After the completion of the inspections on the requests of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Organized Crime and Corruption, the Ministry of Interior gave information to the prosecution saying that “the suspicions are unfounded, and based on the collected information, it has been established that there are no grounds for further investigation”.

“On this basis, the investigating authorities submitted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office a proposal to close the investigation,” stated the MoI later.

At the meeting, it was also pointed out that an investigation is under way against those who initiated the political persecution, by abusing the institutions of the system, but more details on this matter have yet to be released.

Mass inspections were carried out in organizations critical of the government in 2016 and 2017, the civil society sector were under tremendous pressure and intimidation by the then ruling VMRO-DPMNE party.

For months, the MOI and the PPO were involved in the investigations, but no evidence of suspicious activity or violations were found.