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AMHRC / MHRMI - Press Release

Yet Another UN Body Recommends that Greece Recognize the Rights of its Macedonian Minority

September 25, 2009

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Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) / Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) - Press Release

Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada - On 28 August 2009, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) released its “Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” in relation to the 16th – 19th periodical reports of Greece. The Committee is a United Nations body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.

The Committee made a number of important observations and has a number of significant recommendations in relation to the ethnic Macedonian minority of Greece. In particular, the Committee was “concerned about reports on the propagation by certain organizations and media outlets of racist stereotypes and hate comments against persons belonging to different ethnic and racial groups”. As a result, the “Committee recommends that the State party [Greece] take effective measures to penalize organizations and media outlets that are guilty of such acts. It further recommends that the State party concretely ban Neo-Nazi groups from its territory and take more effective measures to promote tolerance towards persons of different ethnic origins".

Moreover, the Committee was “concerned about the obstacles encountered by some ethnic groups in exercising the freedom of association, and in this regard takes note of information on the forced dissolution and refusal to register some associations including words such as “minority”, “Turkish” or “Macedonian”, as well as of the explanation for such refusal”. Thus, the Committee recommended “the State party [Greece] adopt measures to ensure the effective enjoyment by persons belonging to every community or group of their right to freedom of association and of their cultural rights, including the use of mother languages".

The Australian-Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) call on the international community to apply pressure on the Greek government to take note of CERD’s observations and implement, in full and without delay, CERD’s recommendations. The AMHRC and MHRMI would also like to take this opportunity to commend the work of the Greek Helsinki Monitor during this CERD monitoring cycle, in particular for submitting a “Parallel Summary Report on Greece’s Compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”.

Both the Greek Helsinki Monitor’s report and the full text of CERD’s observations and conclusions can be found here:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/cerds75.htm.

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Founded in 1984, the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) has been working towards achieving human rights for Macedonians and other oppressed minorities. For more information, please visit www.macedonianhr.org.au, or contact AMHRC at +61 3 9460 2910, or mail@macedonianhr.org.au.

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 www.mhrmi.org, or contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or info@mhrmi.org.

 
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