Corner Reports

Monthly Report (may 210) 10 June 2010

1. PUBLIC EVENTS  AND VIOLATIONS OF DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES

1.1. Step further in realization of the project “The state belongs to the police, the police belongs to the party”

1.2. Police, workers from bankrupted companies and freedom of association and expression of protest

1.3. Review of the second periodic report of the Republic of Macedonia on the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Committee on the Rights of the Child

1.4. Generation of or fight against homophobia in the Republic of Macedonia

1.5. Selective respect of human rights on local level

2. POLICE AND COURT CASES

2.1. Necessity of pronouncing the detention as a measure – the case of Bashkim Ali

2.2. Loud announcements for investigation, but no results – the case of S.M.

2.3. Legally unjustified explanation and arbitrariness in police proceedings – the case of Dragi Trajkovski, Gevgelija

2.4. Judicial Council reality or fiction. The case of Radevski Aleksandar

______________________________________________________________________

1. PUBLIC EVENTS  AND VIOLATIONS OF DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES

1.1. Step further in realization of the project “The state belongs to the police, the police belongs to the party”

With the draft changes and supplements of “a technical law” (Law on Telecommunications), the Government of the Republic of Macedonia as proposer and the ruling party through the majority votes in the Parliament are close to making one giant step towards establishing a police state and de facto elimination of the right to privacy as one of the fundamental human rights.

The draft law fails to respect the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia (which protects the inviolability of freedom and privacy of correspondence and all other types of communication and guarantees to each citizen the respect and protection of the privacy of his/her personal and family life and of his/her dignity and repute, as it allows violation of these principles without court decision) and a bunch of international documents, ratified in accordance with the Constitution which are now part of the internal legal order. The amendments and supplements of the Telecommunication Law have passed the first reading and are now in the process of second reading in the Parliament. Instead of harmonizing the obligations of operators and providers of public communication services with the provisions of the Law on Interception of Communications, go one step forward – offering new opportunities for easy and direct intrusion of police and secret services in the privacy, failing to respect the existing laws in the state – the law on criminal procedure, interception of communications and interior affairs.

The draft law stipulates that “the operators of public communication networks and providers of public communication services upon request of the competent state bodies are obliged to deliver traffic data when this is necessary for preventing or discovering criminal acts, for conducting the criminal procedure or when this is in the interest of safety and defense of the Republic of Macedonia” [1]. Those proposing the amendments go one step further in derogating the existing legal and constitutional norms by providing unlimited power to the competent body for interception of communications (MoI) on how this data will be used, circumventing any external control. The draft law[2] provides that the operators of public communication networks and providers of public communication services are obliged to provide permanent and direct access to their electronic communication networks and conditions for autonomous taking over of traffic data to the competent body for interception of communications – this is the Ministry of Interior. This decision is also extended with the location of the terminal equipment of the subscribers[3]. It is clear that these decisions avoid the court, public prosecutor’s office, even the operators, because MoI is allowed to independently take over the traffic data, so no one else needs to know that MoI is taking over the data, while the external control is not even mentioned, which absolutely collides with the existing legislation.

Needless to say that the process of developing the draft amendments was not transparent nor inclusive, without participation of relevant institutions (Delegation of the European Union in RM, Directorate for Protection of Personal Data), domestic and international experts, private and civil sector. The Helsinki Committee joins the other non-governmental organizations requesting withdrawal of the draft law and has prepared comments to the draft law on amending and supplementing the Telecommunications Act, which are submitted to the Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia[4].

1.2. Police, workers from bankrupted companies and freedom of association and expression of protest

The Republic of Macedonia is considered to be a democratic state providing for and protecting the human rights and freedoms. So, by ratifying the international documents guaranteeing the human rights and their integration in the Constitution, including the freedom of association and expression of public protest, the state has obliged itself not only to provide for but also to protect these freedoms.

Unfortunately, the continuous obstruction of the protests of workers from bankrupted companies, which try to voice their demands through peaceful protests, brings us to a conclusion that democracy and protection of human rights, particularly the right to association and protest in Macedonia, is only dead letter.

The right to protest is regulated by law, which means that the protest should be announced, the police cooperates with the organizer of public gathering in order to ensure unobstructed gathering and to undertake measures for protection of life, personal safety and securing public order and peace[5].

However, in the case of workers of bankrupted companies it seems as if the police officers were ordered to forget their obligation for securing the public order and peace and protect the personal safety of the participants, so as mute observers they did not prevent the physical and verbal assaults on the organizers of the protest.

The police are a tool for enforcing the laws and not for their violation and should be a service of the citizens in order to protect their safety and security regardless of the political affiliation. This is not the first time that we have witnessed the violation of human dignity of the people attempting to voice their opinion, such as the last year’s developments at the public gathering of the students of architecture or the farmers from Bitola. Macedonia even received explicit remarks in the report of the European Commission, but evidently they were not sufficient for the Government to change its conduct.

The Committee would like to remind once again on the greatest benefit of democracy, such as the right to association and expression of protest, pointing out that any conduct not aimed at their protection is considered as violation of human rights and democratic principles in a society.

1.3. Review of the second periodic report of the Republic of Macedonia on the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Committee on the Rights of the Child

A representative of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights attended the 54th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, held on May 27 and 28, 20101. At the session the second periodic report submitted by the Republic of Macedonia on the CRC was examined as well as the Concluding Observations of the initial report on both Optional Protocols.

The Republic of Macedonia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1993, the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in 2003 and the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict in 2004. With the ratification of the Optional Protocols, the state has taken an obligation to incorporate them into domestic legislation.

Although the Committee on the Right of Child has welcomed the efforts of the state for harmonizing the legislation with the Convention and the Protocols it was concluded that there are few gaps still needing to be filled in order to provide full protection for the rights of the child.

The Helsinki Committee, as participant in the process of developing the Alternative Report[6] and participant in the pre-session and session of the Committee on the Right of Child, waits for the concluding observations to be disseminated and will also monitor their implementation.

1.4. Generation of or fight against homophobia in the Republic of Macedonia

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) observed on May 17, together with the latest research of HERA on the educational curricula, surfaced again the institutional spread of homophobia, which is against the commitment of the Republic of Macedonia for full implementation of the human rights and non-discrimination principles. 

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia strongly condemns the publication and use of three text books, still in use by the students of medicine, dentistry and psychology. Two of the text books are authored by Prof. Dr. Georgi Cadlovski (Psychiatry 1 and 2, Prosvetno delo, Skopje 2004 and Medical Psychology, Prosvetno delo, Skopje, 2004) and one is by Olga Skaric (Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje, 2004). Furthermore, the high school students use the text books by Marija Kostova, Aneta Barakovska and Eli Makazlieva (ed.) Pedagogy for third year students, optional subject in the general secondary education, Prosvetno delo 2005; Kiril Temkov Ethics for second year in the general secondary education, Prosvetno delo, 2004. In all these books, homosexuality is treated as a disease and socio-pathological phenomenon and sexual disorder. The same position was adopted by one Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, thus putting homosexuals under high risk of violence.

The Helsinki Committee has addressed the Office of the World Health Organization in Skopje, and in turn received the classification of diseases, which clearly shows that homosexuality is not on the list of diseases and disorders[7]. Having in mind the fact that WHO, APA, Macedonian Psychiatrist Association and Medical Chamber of Macedonia have already removed (the former much earlier, the latter a little bit later) homosexuality from the list of diseases, the dissemination of such information is highly discriminating, intolerant and act of stigmatization of homosexuals in the Republic of Macedonia. The presence of this information in the educational system of the Republic of Macedonia means that the state is institutionally spreading homophobia among its citizens.

The UN Human Rights Commission has established the three year mandate of the Special Rapporteur in 2002, which was extended for additional three years in 2005. At the tenth anniversary of the Cairo conference, the Special Rapporteur spoke of the reproductive and sexual rights in the report of the Human Rights Commission. This is a comprehensive document making distinction between the reproductive/ sexual rights and human rights and speaking of the sexual and reproductive rights and LGBT rights. The report excludes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when exercising the sexual and reproductive rights. The right to health, including the sexual and reproductive health includes the sexual rights defined by the Special Rapporteur as sexual freedoms. The sexual rights are human rights, including the “right of every person to express one’s own sexual orientation, with respect to the wellbeing and rights of the others, without fear of prosecution, deprivation of freedom and social interference.”

The importance of public health is also highlighted in Article 153 of the Agreement of the European Community and Article 129 of the Agreement of the European Union.

In respect of overcoming the established stereotypes and circulation of wrong and outdated information in the education system and the other mass media and dissemination of knowledge as well as for overcoming the conflict of information which will emerge with the introduction of Life Skills classes, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia has organized a public debate, where several conclusions were made. The researches and monitoring on the secondary and higher education curricula in the Republic of Macedonia show substantial presence of stereotyped representation of homosexuals, and in significant number of cases the homosexuality is considered as pathology, which is against the provisions of WHO, APA and the Medical Chamber of Macedonia and the Macedonian Psychiatric Association. This is why, we appealed to the Government of Republic of Macedonia, particularly the Ministry of Education and Science and the Bureau for Education Development to withdraw the existing text books[8] and to create programs and contents in line with the contemporary findings and facts, as well as to ensure promotion of the principles on non-discrimination, democracy and respect of human rights.

The research titled “Love after Classes”, conducted by NGO H.E.R.A shows that the knowledge in the area of sexual and reproductive health among the high school students is insignificant. Most of the respondents showed complete ignorance of some of the basic methods of protection from sexually transmitted diseases as well as great deal of prejudices and stereotypes, particularly towards the minority groups. High percentage of the respondents – parents have positive attitude towards the introduction of sexual education, because the existing topics in the program only partially cover the topics on sexual education. Based on these findings we concluded that it is necessary to introduce sexual health education, which will have holistic approach towards these problems and will be based on best experiences and practices from the other countries (Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.) The initiative for introducing the Life Skills subject was welcomed and appeal was sent to implement this program in serious and consistent manner. The participants also welcomed the development of the Strategy on Reproductive and Sexual Health by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the experts and non-governmental sector. Furthermore, a recommendation was given that the Strategy must be seriously based on an approach taking into consideration the needs and problems of the marginalized communities, particularly gender and sexual minorities

1.5. Selective respect of human rights on local level 

On May 12, 2010, at the workshop organized for the municipalities of Aracinovo and Centar Zupa, the representatives of the municipal administration and councilors from Aracinovo municipality refused to attend or to participate to any other workshop if the presentations are held in Macedonian language, although all handout materials for the workshop were provided in Albanian language. The organizers also allowed the participants to interrupt the session whenever they needed an Albanian translation in order to explain the terms and it was agreed the discussion to be held in Albanian language.

However, despite the efforts of the representatives of the Helsinki Committee for finding out solution and continuing with the workshop and despite the knowledge that representatives from the municipality of Centar Zupa, which do not use the Albanian, will join the workshop, the representatives of Aracinovo municipality left the session, violating the right of the representatives of the Helsinki Committee to do their job in a language they understand and which is the first official language in the Republic of Macedonia.

The Helsinki Committee strongly condemns this harsh violation of the principle of human rights and denial of the right of the other and considers the move of the representatives of Aracinovo municipality as a symptomatic step, which is not only contrary to the principle of human rights, but is also against the existing positive legislation in the Republic of Macedonia. This is why the Helsinki Committee will send a protest note to the mayor of the municipality. In this occasion we would like to remind to the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stipulating: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” 

Helsinki Committee wants to point out that although it is a non-governmental organization, established as an association of citizens, it is not a state body and is not legally obliged to provide use and application of language spoken by at least 20 percent of the citizens of Republic of Macedonia. However, all necessary conditions and opportunities were provided for the representatives of Aracinovo municipality, predominantly populated with Albanians, to continue with the workshop on May 12, 2010.

The right to use of languages is strictly regulated in the national legislation, Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and Amendment V of the Constitution (The Macedonian language, written using its Cyrillic alphabet, is the official language in the Republic of Macedonia. Any person living in a unit of local self-government in which at least 20 percent of the population speaks an official language other than Macedonian may use that official language to communicate with the regional office of the central government with responsibility for that municipality) and Article 2 of the Law on Use of Languages spoken by at least 20 percent of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and in the units of the local self-government (In the state bodies the official language other than the Macedonian may be used in accordance with this law). The aforementioned legislation stipulates the use of language spoken by at least 20 percent of the citizens in the Republic of Macedonia, including:

O  Official registries, in the process of issuing of personal documents,

O  the local self-government units,

O  the communication with the ministries and the regional offices of the ministries and the state bodies,

O  the court procedures,

O  the plenary sessions of the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia,

O  publication of laws and regulations.

The Helsinki Committee wants to point out that these policies of exclusion bring to divisions and not co-life. Everyone’s freedom and rights end at the frontier of the other’s rights and freedoms. This is a sad example showing how the human rights are applied and exercised on local level and we want to point out once again that during their work the representatives of the local government units should take into account the universal wisdom “treat the others as you want to be treated”.

Background:

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia received approval and financial support from the European Union through the PROGRESS program for the project “Introducing indicators for measuring discrimination on local level (through dissemination of information, education and indicators for measuring)”. Partner in implementing the project is the Sector for Equal Opportunities within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

The starting point of the project is that support and assistance is needed for functioning of the rule of law, implementation of laws and equality in front of the law. Special interest of the project are the policies and practice of equal treatment and equal opportunities for all people in the Republic of Macedonia, in light of the implementation of several laws, with special emphasis on the Law on equal opportunities for men and women (2006) and the Law on protection against discrimination, adopted in April 2010. The purpose of the indicators for measuring and monitoring the discrimination on local level is to allow to the practitioners, municipal administration and municipal council to provide conditions for development and implementation of policies, measures and approaches in order to overcome the discrimination problems through inclusion and participation in different segments of the local community.

As an upgrade of this project, at the beginning of February, the Helsinki Committee started to realize another project supported by the Civica mobilitas programme: “Development and testing of instruments for monitoring the budget allocations and spending on local level through the human rights-based approach”. The overall goal of the project is through analysis to get insight into the problems and ambiguities of the citizens regarding the budgets on central and local level and to provide instruments and guidelines for the citizens for making a budget analysis from the human rights perspective and their participation in the local policy making through participation in the budget process.

The municipalities as active partners in the project, in the period between February and April 2010 were invited to cooperate by signing the Memorandum of Cooperation and by filling out a questionnaire by the representatives of the municipal administration and councilors.

The municipality of Aracinovo, as well as 62 out of the 84 local governments, signed the Memorandum of Understanding and filled out the questionnaire.

2. POLICE AND COURT CASES

2.1. Necessity of pronouncing detention as a measure – the case of Bashkim Ali

The Helsinki Committee was notified in a letter that Bashkim Ali was deprived of his liberty on November 25, 2009. After apprehending him for 24-hour in the police station, he was detained pursuant to Article 199, paragraph 1, line 1 and 3 of the Law on Criminal Procedure[9]. The next morning, investigative judge from the Basic Court Skopje 1 – Skopje made a decision to start an investigation against Ali on suspicion of “unauthorized production and trafficking of narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursors” pursuant to Article 215, paragraph 2 in relation with paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code. 

From the moment of pronouncing the detention, this measure was extended every single month[10] by the Criminal Council of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption in the Basic Court Skopje 1 – Skopje with the same explanation upon the proposal of the investigative judge.

On February 19, 2010, the Public Prosecutor’s Office for prosecuting organized crime and corruption has filed an indictment act. After the indictment the Criminal Council has again accepted the proposal for extending the detention with the same “copy – paste” explanation as in the previous decisions, quoting that “the reasons for pronouncing the detention are still present”, without providing grounded and legally sustainable explanation.

The Criminal Council of the Basic Court Skopje 1 – Skopje persistently pronounces the detention to the defendant Ali (also to the other defendants) only with formal extension of the decisions on pronouncing the detention and pointing out that the conditions stipulated in Article 199, paragraph 1, line 1 and 3 of the Law on Criminal Procedure are met, without getting any further in explaining these reasons.

The detention as the most severe measure for securing the presence of the defendant during the trial procedure is regulated by the Law on Criminal Procedure[11]. Since 2006, the Helsinki Committee has continuously pointed out the need for the judiciary to respect the standards for use of detention as a tool for securing the presence of the defendants and is also the last measure to which they should resort when it is not possible to fulfill this goal with milder measure[12]. Unfortunately, this case showed that the judiciary still uses the detention as a necessary measure for securing the presence of the defendant in the trial procedure.

This abuse of detention has been criticized by the Helsinki Committee, which appealed in its monthly reports to the judicial bodies to take into account the alternative measures having in mind that they are also tools for securing the presence and not punishment for the defendant. One should also not forget that the presumption of innocence is a constitutional principle[13].

When deciding on restriction of the freedom of movement of the person during the pronouncement of detention, the Helsinki Committee believes that due attention should be paid on the relevant and legally grounded and elaborated reasons as well as to act upon an urgent procedure, because this is one of the fundamental human rights.

The Helsinki Committee appeals for appropriate, equal and lawful application and use of detention as a measure and encourages and calls on the judicial bodies to use other appropriate measures in order not to violate the human rights and dignity of a person.

2.2. Loud announcements for investigation, but no results – the case of S.M.

At the end of March 2009, the media reported that an inmate committed suicide in the prison in T., followed by speculations/insinuations that the inmate was maybe beaten.

In order to find out the truth and the action of competent state bodies, the Helsinki Committee sent letter to the Administration for Execution of Sanctions requesting permission to visit the prison. The visit was organized in April 2009, during which a meeting was held with director of the jail in T. He told us about the general affairs in the prison, and regarding the specific case he only told us that the inmate was admitted just a day before the suicide and nothing more. He also said that they waited for the investigation to be concluded to get the results.

In June 2009, another letter was sent to the prison and the Administration for Execution of Sanctions requesting information on the final outcome of the investigation. On September 1, 2009 we received a reply from the prison in T., notifying us that the investigation of the Basic Court from Tetovo is still pending.

At the beginning of the year, representatives of the Helsinki Committee visited the prison again, making inquiry about the outcome of the investigative procedure. The answer was that they did not have feedback from the court.

On March 4, 2010 another letter was sent to the prison in T. asking about the investigation and whether the prison has finally received an answer from the investigation judge. On May 5, 2010 we received a reply notifying us that “the Basic Court Tetovo sent a letter on August 28, 2009 notifying them that the minutes and the photo album from the crime scene were forwarded to the public prosecutor’s office – Tetovo, but the prosecution did not submit request for conducting an investigation or a proposal for undertaking investigative measures, so no investigation or investigative measures were opened regarding the death of the deceased S.M.”

The Helsinki Committee, and the entire public, still remembers the announcements for opening an investigation, for providing answers and notifying the public and similar pompous statements, but after certain period of time the enthusiasm drops down and only the promises remain. Silence as in every other case.

After a year of tug of war we were just notified that “the court did not conduct an investigation regarding the death of the deceased inmate”, without any details on the investigation, the outcome, the conclusion and whether the relatives were notified on the outcome of the investigation (if such ever existed). 

Although even during the first replies from the prison as well as the visits, the director knew that “no investigation was initiated in front of the court and no investigation measures were taken regarding the death of S.M.” this information was concealed and not available to the Committee.

The Helsinki Committee calls on the relatives and their representatives, if they are not appropriately notified on the undertaken measures and activities by the state bodies (public prosecutor’s office and court) not to leave this case in deadlock or to allow to be closed only with brief notification, to submit an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for violation of Article 3[14] of the European Convention of Human Rights – in the section on inefficiently conducted investigation.

2.3. Legally unjustified explanation and arbitrariness in police proceedings – the case of Dragi Trajkovski, Gevgelija  

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia was notified by Dragi Trajkovski from Gevgelija that on November 18, 2009 he was apprehended by two police officers from the police station in Gevgelija and brought into the Basic Court of Gevgelija with an order allegedly issued by the Basic Court of Gevgelija. He immediately requested copy of the alleged order, but unfortunately the police officers said that they would not give him a copy of the order. Before appearing in front of the court Trajkovski asked again for a copy of the order, but the police again gave him negative reply. Then he went to the police station and was asked to submit written request.

On November 26, 2009 he was notified that the “law enforcement officers proceeded according to the legal regulations when acting upon the court order issued by the Basic Court in Gevgelija”. That was all.

The Helsinki Committee turned to the police station in Gevgelija, requesting information on the reasons why the copy of the order for forceful apprehension was not submitted, which is against Article 187, paragraph 4 of[15] of the Law on Criminal Procedure.

On May 11, 2010 the police station from Gevgelija sent a reply, saying that “in accordance with the order of the Basic Court in Gevgelija, the police officers apprehended Trajkovski and brought him in front of the court of law. Prior to the apprehension Trajkovski was presented with an order issued by the Basic Court in Gevgelija, and he became familiar and had insight into the order”. The reply further says that “the person was already known to the police, so he was not given a copy of the order in accordance with the Law on Police, Article 46, paragraph 4”.  Funny! Believe it or not!

No one disputed the fact that there was a court order, nor Trajkovski opposed the enforcement of the order, but the problem is that a copy of the order was not handed to Trajkovski, which is mandatory for the state bodies (police station Gevgelija) pursuant to the Law on Police and the Law on Criminal Procedure.

The Helsinki Committee points out that the positive regulations do not recognize the category of familiarity or arbitrariness of authorized officials. Whether someone is familiar to the police or not is not a relevant factor for handing in the order, but it is whether there is a grounded suspicion on whether the person will resist or refuse the apprehension, so he should be apprehended forcefully, which was not the case here.

The Helsinki Committee believes that the law enforcement officers failed to respect the regulations stipulated in the Law on Criminal Procedure and the Law on Police in this specific case.

2.4.  Judicial Council reality or fiction. The case of Radevski Aleksandar

When deciding in the probate proceedings on the legacy of deceased R.A., the Municipal Court in Berovo proclaimed as successors his sons, R.K. of 2/3 and Radevski Aleksandar of 1/3 of the real estate, house, garden, orchard and land, listed in the decision.

The client Radevski Aleksandar notified us that after the death of his brother R.K, the Municipal Court in Berovo proclaimed as successors his daughter S.J, who gets part of the house “one room on the floor on the northern side” and his son R.S. who gets the movable property described in details in the decision and 2/3 of the house, garden and orchard. Upon the request for correction of the decision submitted to the Basic Court in Berovo, the Court makes decision on correcting the dispositive of the decision, by adding in the description of the real estate of the successor S.J. “ideal 1/3 of house”, which according to the ownership certificate issued by the Municipal cadastre of Berovo belongs to Aleksandar Radevski. On the basis of this correction in the decision on inheritance, the State Geodetic Bureau, Department for Land Surveying and Cadastre makes the necessary changes, i.e. 1/3 of the facilities in ownership of Aleksandar Radevski are now registered in ownership of S.J., an act with which contrary to the legal provisions, the property is taken away from the client Aleksandar Radevski. This procedure is against Article 128, paragraph 8 of the Law on Out-of-Court Proceedings, which clearly gives an opportunity for making changes of formal, but not of substantial character.

The Helsinki Committee addressed the President of the Basic Court in Berovo, who notified us that “the client submits complaints with same or similar contents upon every change by the Judicial Council on the same inheritance case, in which the correction was made by judge F.K.”

Not satisfied with this reply, which definitely does not answer the questions, nor protects the right to ownership guaranteed by the Constitution and the Law on Ownership and Other Property Rights, the Helsinki Committee requested undertaking of specific activities against judge F.K. by the Judicial Council.

The reply of the Judicial Council upon our complaint contains the aforementioned statement/ explanation of the President of the Basic Court in Berovo, further stating that no elements were found of unprofessional and negligent proceeding of the judge, while performing her duty in this specific case. 

On the other hand, the Judicial Council of the Republic of Macedonia publicly announced the decision for discharging the judge S.S. from the Basic Court Skopje I Skopje for unprofessional and negligent performance. The undertaken activities of the judge in that case (explained in the decision), which are the ground for initiating the procedure for unprofessional and negligent performance resemble the activities of the judge in the case of Aleksandar Radevski. The explanation of the decision reads “in the specific case, the corrections do not refer to obvious mistakes in the names and numbers or to obvious mistakes in the spelling and calculation, but there was a correction in the executive case of whole cadastre lots and numbers of property lists…the judge changed the dispositive… In a situation like this, the Council in both cases established existence of unprofessional and negligent performance by the judge S.S. from S. thus abusing the position and overstepping the official authorizations according to Article 75, paragraph 1, line 8 of the Law on Courts”.

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the course of 2007 in several occasions has pointed out the double standards applied in the decision making of the Judicial Council, the selective approach in the decision making and failure to examine the allegations in the submitted complaints. Obviously, the practice of impartiality, selectivity and undermining of legal certainty and rule of law by the body, which is considered to be autonomous and independent, still continues. 

The Helsinki Committee considers this proceeding of the Judicial Court of the Republic of Macedonia as unacceptable, contrary to its competence delegated by the Constitution and the laws. It also undermines the principle of equality of citizens in front of the Constitution and laws and destroys the confidence in the independent judicial system.

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[1] Article 72 of the draft amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications (new paragraph 7 of the Article 112 of the law) 

[2] Article 72 of the draft amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications (new paragraph 8 of the Article 112 of the law) 

[3] Article 73 of the draft amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications (new paragraph 8 of the Article 114 of the law)

[4] The comments are available on the Committee’s web site on www.mhc.org.mk 

[5] Article 78 of the Rulebook on Performing Police Affairs

[6] http://www.mhc.org.mk/WBStorage/Files/Pravata%20na%20deteto%20-%20mk.pdf

[7] http://apps.who.int/classifications/apps/icd/icd10online/

[8] Marija Kostova, Aneta Barakovska and Eli Makazlieva (ed.) Pedagogy for third year students, optional subject in the general secondary education, Prosvetno delo 2005; Temkov Kiril Ethics for second year in the general secondary education, Prosvetno delo, 2004; Cadlovski Georgi, Psychiatry, (Skopje, Prosvetno delo: 2004); Cadlovski Georgi Medical Psychology, (Skopje, Prosvetno delo: 2004); and Skaric Olga Developmental Psychology, (Skopje, Faculty of Philosophy: 2004).

[9] Article 199 – Law on Criminal Procedure

If there is a grounded suspicion that a person has committed crime, a pre- trial detention for the person may be determined:

1) if he hides, if his identity cannot be detected or if there are other circumstances emphasising danger of escape;

3) if certain circumstances justify the fear that he will commit crime again, or he will complete the attempted crime or will commit crime with which he threatens.

[10] on 24.12.2009, on 22.01.2010 and on 22.02.2010, but now as a defendant after an indictment was filed

[11] Article 198 to 208 of the Law on Criminal Procedure

[12] Article 185 of the Law on Criminal Procedure

The possible measures against the accused for securing his presence and for successful performance of the criminal procedure are: court summons, apprehension, promise by the accused that he will not leave his residence, guarantee and pre- trial detention.

[13] Article 13 – Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia 

A person indicted for an offence shall be considered innocent until his/her guilt is established by a legally valid court verdict.

[14] Article 3-Ban of Torture

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

[15] Law on Criminal Procedure 

The person entrusted with the order hands in the order to the accused and asks him to follow him. If the accused refuses it, he will apprehend him forcefully


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