This page summarizes cases raised with Macedonia by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2017 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Macedonia.
Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared.
Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available).
Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Macedonia, English).
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government for its reply to his communication of 15 May 2013, but regrets that the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has not responded to his other communication. He considers responses to his communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with his mandate, and urges the authorities to provide detailed answers to all the concerns raised in his communications. He considers responses to his communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with his mandate, and urges the authorities to provide detailed answers to all the concerns raised in his communications.
The Special Rapporteur takes note that an investigation is underway in relation to the attacks and harassment of LGBTI defenders, and looks forward to receiving additional information on the allegation in the communication sent on 17 May 2013.
The Special Rapporteur calls upon the authorities to “[t]ake positive measures, including affirmative action measures, to ensure that all individuals belonging to groups most at risk [such as LGBTI people] have the ability to exercise effectively their rights, including to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association” (A/HRC/26/29, para. 73(c)).
More generally, the Special Rapporteur remains concerned about the physical and psychological integrity of those working and advocating for the rights of LGBTI people, and working to promote equality and non-discrimination, particularly in exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression, of association and of peaceful assembly.
In this regard, the Special Rapporteur refers to Human Rights Council resolution 24/5, and in particular operative paragraph 1 that “[r]eminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law”.
Response to communication
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Macedonia for responding to the communication sent during this reporting period.
Regarding the large number of protestors detained and prosecuted in Skopje, the Special Rapporteur thanks the Government’s for its detailed responses of 30 July 2015 and 18 September 2015 (MKD 2/2015). However, he expresses concern about the excessive use of force by police used to disperse the protestors and their subsequent arrest, detention and the charges issued against them.
The Special Rapporteur takes this opportunity to remind the Government of Macedonia that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is held by each individual participating in an assembly and acts of sporadic violence or offences by some should not be attributed to others whose intentions and behaviour remain peaceful in nature. In this regard, he refers the Government to his recent report on the proper management of assemblies (A/HRC/31/66) and stands ready to provide technical assistance to ensure that the State’s norms comply with international human rights norms and standards governing the right to freedom of assembly.
Response to communication
The Special Rapporteur regrets that no response has been received to date to the communication sent on 31 March 2016, which concerned physical violence by law enforcement officials against migrants and asylum seekers peacefully protesting on the Greek side of the border of the border between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and their collective expulsion in a possible violation of the principle of non-refoulement and with a lack of due process guarantees. He is particularly concerned by the overnight detention of human rights defenders and journalists following their participation in a march of migrants and asylum-seekers from Idomeni, Greece, towards the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 14 March 2016. The Special Rapporteur regrets that these actions may have a deterrent effect on other activists and human rights defenders who advocate for the rights of migrants and asylum seekers; as well as on the reporting on the situation of migrants, and the right to access information regarding these matters.
For the full reports, containing communications, replies and observations for all countries, see the following links: