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Press Release

MHRMI and AMHRC Increase Funding for Macedonian Language Classes in Albania

May 8, 2014



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Macedonian Language Classes in Albania Toronto and Melbourne (May 8, 2014) Macedonian Human Rights Movement International and the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee have increased funding for the MHRMI/AMHRC sponsored Macedonian-language schools throughout Albania and the Macedonian-language TV station in Korca, Albania.

Previously, Albanian government officials and secret service agents issued death threats to the Macedonian teachers, beat and tried to intimidate the students, but the private Macedonian-language classes have continued to thrive. (
www.mhrmi.org/news/2010/december10_e.asp and www.mhrmi.org/news/2010/february14_e.asp)

The Albanian governments latest move in trying to suppress the Macedonian language is a reorganization of Macedonian-populated municipalities and amalgamating them into Albanian-populated ones. This would reduce the percentage of Macedonians in each district and give Albania an excuse to stop providing public education in Macedonian.

This directly affects the community of Pustec in the region of Mala Prespa, the communities of Ostreni, Steblevo and Trebishte in the region of Golo Brdo and the communities Zapot and Shishtavec in the region of Gora. During a meeting with local Macedonians, the Minister of Local Self-Governance, Blendi Chuchi, offered a guarantee that the community of Pustec would not be dissolved. However, no guarantees were received for the other communities as the Albanian state does not recognize the existence of Macedonians anywhere other than in Pustec, and does not provide them with any public education.

The Albanian Parliament will vote on this proposed law at the end of July. Until then, we demand from the Albanian authorities and international representatives, that the communities where Macedonians live not be dissolved. Albanias attempts to deny us our right to education in our mother-tongue must end, said Edmond Osmani, President of the Golo Brdo local committee of the Macedonian Alliance for European Integration.

Macedonian organizations have repeatedly started petition drives and delivered demands to the Albanian Ministry of Education and other educational institutions to allow the instruction of the Macedonian language, only to be denied or ignored.

Thankfully, MHRMI and AMHRC have stepped in and funded several private Macedonian-language schools and kindergartens, and continue to open more throughout the areas where Macedonians live, including the regions of Gora and Golo Brdo and the cities of Korca, Pogradec, Bilishta and Vrbnik, added Edmond Osmani.

The need for a private Macedonian-language TV station arose from the lack of Macedonian content on Albanian television and the denial of access to Macedonian candidates running in local elections.

Ironically, Albanians complain of discrimination in the Republic of Macedonia, despite being taught in Albanian at the university level, but are taking every measure possible to limit the amount of Macedonian being taught in Albania.

MHRMI and AMHRC condemn Albanias continued state-sponsored discrimination against its Macedonian minority and demand that the international community finally hold it accountable. This includes the recent Council of Europe resolution which requires that Albania ensures education in all of its minority languages.

MHRMI and AMHRC will continue to increase Macedonian language classes throughout Albania. To help ensure the survival, and growth, of the Macedonian language in Albania, please contribute to the
MHRMI Human Rights Fund or AMHRC Macedonian Minorities Support Fund.

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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:
www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook, info@mhrmi.org, 1-416-850-7125.

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
www.macedonianhr.org.au, email info@macedonianhr.org.au or via +61 3 9329 8960.

 
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