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Newsletter of the Rainbow Party

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ΕFA-Rainbow supports the right of the Catalan people to decide on their future and joins the EFA campaign "Catalonia decides"

Catalonia decides



Radio Macedonian Culture

A selection of Macedonian blogs in Greece

Aegean Macedonian Culture

Anti-macedonian policy during the elections for the European Parliament against Rainbow by the Greek state and the Greek mass media

A scandal by the Parliamentary committee

Greek TV stations sabotage EFA-Raibow

Ultra-nationalists want "borders with Serbia"!

"Hellenic Post" sabbotages EFA-Rainbow Campaign

Typical example of censorship of Rainbow

Attack of the Greek Neo-nazi party

A Greek - Macedonian dictionary by Vasko Karatza printed with the support of EFA - Rainbow
 Greek   Macedonian

D. Lithoxoou
"Extracts of Letters"

Τι έλεγε κάποτε το ΚΚΕ για τους Μακεδόνες

Denying Ethnic Identity:
The Macedonians of Greece, by Human Rights Watch

Linguistics and politics II:
Macedonian Language

Greece's stance towards
its Macedonian minority
and the neighbouring
Republic of Macedonia.

Lawed Arguments
and Omitted Truths

R. Nikovski: Memorandum to the European Parliament
Facts behind the Greek politics towards Macedonia

English  Macedonian

"Proposed disciplinary measures to stamp out the Macedonian minority in Greece by the National Security Service"

Center Maurits Coppieters
European Free Alliance
Federal Union of European Nationalities
Greek Helsinki Monitor
Greek Anti–Nationalistic Movement
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Macedonian Human Rights of Australia
OMO Ilinden - PIRIN
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Macedonian Forum for politics and history
UN Expert Recommends Bulgaria Recognise Its Macedonian Minority

19 February, 2012

Читај ја оваа страница на македонски

Iszak Blagoevgrad/Gorna Dzumaja (Bulgaria), Melbourne (Australia) and Toronto (Canada)

OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN, the political party of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, together with the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) welcome the recent release of the report of the United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues on the situation in Bulgaria.

The report was made public on 3 January 2012 by the newly appointed UN Independent Expert, Ms. Rita Izsak and follows the visit to Bulgaria in July 2011 of her predecessor, Ms Gay McDougall. During the visit to Bulgaria, the Independent Expert met with representatives of the Macedonian minority in the country. The delegation comprised of: Stojko Stojkov, Co-President of OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN and Stahil Tupalski, Central Council Member of OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN; Stojan Gerasimov from the Society of Repressed Macedonians; and Georgi Hristov, the Chief Editor of the pro-Macedonian newspaper, Narodna Volja. The meeting gave the Macedonian organisations the opportunity to provide the Independent Expert with a first hand, documented account of the problems facing the Macedonian population in Bulgaria.

The post-visit report made a number of observations in relation to the situation of minorities in Bulgaria. In paragraphs 66-67, devoted to the Macedonian minority, the Independent Expert noted that:

"66. Article 54 of the Bulgarian Constitution states that "everyone shall have the right to avail himself of the national and universal human cultural values and to develop his own culture in accordance with his ethnic self-identification, which shall be recognized and guaranteed by the law." However, the Government denies the existence of an ethnic Macedonian minority, and does not recognize the Pomaks (considered as Bulgarian-speaking Muslims by the Government) as a distinct minority – claiming that both groups are in fact ethnic Bulgarians. Representatives of those who self-identify as ethnic Macedonians and as Pomaks claim that their minority rights are consequently violated.

67. Ethnic Macedonians consider it of crucial importance that their ethnic identity and distinctiveness be officially recognized. Community representatives strongly dispute census findings reflecting very low and declining numbers of Macedonians,and claim that the true population is many times higher. The Macedonian language is not recognized or taught in schools and Macedonians are not represented on the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues

Most significantly though, the Independent Expert made a number of significant recommendations in relation to the recognition of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.

In relation to respect for self-identification the Independent Expert recommended that:

"93. In accordance with its Constitutional provisions to respect the right to ethnic self-identification, the Government should ensure and protect this right, as well as the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association of members of the Macedonian and Pomak minorities.

94. Policies relating to the recognition and rights of minority groups must be assessed in relation to the State's obligations under international human rights law. Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that "in those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language." The question of the existence of minorities is addressed by the Human Rights Committee in its general comment No. 23 (1994) on the rights of minorities. Article 5.2 states that "the existence of an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority in a given State party does not depend upon a decision by that State party but requires to be established by objective criteria."

95. With regard to identification with a particular racial or ethnic group, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has established in its general recommendation No. 8 (1990) on article 1 of the Convention that "such identification shall, if no justification exists to the contrary, be based upon self-identification by the individual concerned." The right of individuals to freely identify as belonging to an ethnic, religious or linguistic group is therefore established in international law. Domestic law should recognize such rights and ensure that no individual or group suffers from any disadvantage or discriminatory treatment on the basis of their freely chosen identity as belonging (or not) to an ethnic, religious, linguistic or any other group.

On Bulgaria's refusal to abide by judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, the views of the Independent Expert were quite explicit:

96. Bulgaria should comply fully with the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) relating to persons belonging to such communities and implement its rulings without further delay. Associations should be allowed to register and function without impediment, use their chosen names and express their ethnic identities freely. Associations that have been denied in the past should promptly be given official registration.

The Independent Expert also recommended the introduction of the Macedonian language to the Bulgarian education system:

"97. The Government's position not to allow the use of mother tongue languages as the language of instruction in schools, particularly in regions where minorities are a majority or constitute a large percentage of the population, is a concern for minorities, including the Roma, Turkish Muslims and Macedonians. Bilingual education commencing in the early years of schooling would enable children to become proficient in their mother tongue as well as in Bulgarian. Furthermore, it would enable them to maintain their ethnic and linguistic identity and help minority pupils to achieve positive educational outcomes. The Government is urged to consider introducing bilingual education and to ratify the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages"

OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN, the political party of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, together with the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) demand that the Bulgarian Government to take note of the report of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues and implement, in full and without delay, each of the recommendations contained in the report.

The full report can be downloaded here:


OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN is a political party supporting the rights of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria. It has been banned since 2000, despite a 2005 European Court of Human Rights Judgement ruling that the decision was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. For more information please visit

Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental organisation that advocates before governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other excluded groups throughout the world are recognised, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more information please visit, or contact AMHRC by email or via +61 3 93298960.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information, please visit, or contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or

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EFA-Rainbow Archives

Γιατί να ψηφίσω
την ΕΕΣ-Ουράνιο Τόξο

Click here
to read the Abecedar!

Promotion of the
Macedonian Language
Primer at the OSCE HDIM

English Greek Macedonian

Greek irredentism and expansionism officially sanctioned by the Greek Parliament
English Greek Macedonian

Letter to Carla del Ponte,
Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

English Greek Macedonian

The Yugoslavian Crisis
English Greek Macedonian

Document of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs

Related to the article - The obvious linguistic particularity - Eletherotypia, 18/11/2006

English   Greek

The ten Greek myths
on the “Macedonian issue”

By IOS team – Eletherotypia, 23/10/2005

Who says there are no
minority languages in Greece?

The "secret" census
in north Greece, in 1920

Map showing the Cultures and Languages in the E.U.

Council of Europe
Framework convention for the Protection of national minorities




Συνέντευξη: Ευάγγελος Κωφός, Έλληνας ιστορικός
Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας - Σκόπια είναι όνομα που εκφράζει την ταυτότητά σας

Greek   Macedonian

Ο Παύλος Φιλίποβ Βοσκόπουλος απαντά στον Ευάγγελο Κωφό.
«Το Μακεδονικό ζήτημα είναι η αχίλλειος πτέρνα του ελληνικού μύθου».

Greek   Macedonian
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