128 cases of cross ethnic violence in FYR Macedonia during 2014

128 cases of cross ethnic violence in FYR Macedonia during 2014

Skopje, July 23, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has published a report according to which, 175 hate crimes have been registered in the country during 2014.

In 128 cases or 62% of them are cross ethnic incidents. According to this organization, these ethnic related conflicts show that tolerance among communities is lacking in FYR Macedonia. The majority part of these incidents or 72% has been registered in Aerodrom, Cair and Center quarters of Skopje.

“Our information indicates an increase of cross ethnic violence. 128 of cases are ethnically related. The recent protests once again showed how cross ethnic relations in the country are. The majority of victims are part of the two largest ethnic groups, Macedonian one and Albanian one and in most cases, they are minors. I call on the state to take measures in order to stop such violence in the future”, said the head of the Helsinki Committee,  Uranija Pirovska.

28 cases of ethnic hatred and politically related incidents have been registered in the past two months. Most of the incidents have taken place in buses, sport fields and party offices during the pre election period.

“Very few incidents were registered last year. Only three which had political motives, although we had the local elections. But this year, during the early parliamentary and presidential elections we have noticed a sudden rise of hatred cases.  We’re concerned about the fact that there are growing cases of violence in sport environments”, said Pirovska.

Helsinki Committee criticizes the state for not registering cases fueled by hatred and for not punishing them in order to prevent them.

Helsinki Committee Report has included data from February until today, but this data is only based on the media, police reports and denouncements made by the citizens. This data was published today by the Committee on the occasion of the European day for victims of hate crime. /ibna/