Anti-Macedonian Campaign Mars Bulgarian Census


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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 08:10:11 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Anti-Macedonian Campaign Mars Bulgarian Census

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: OMO Ilinden PIRIN <omo_ilinden_pirin@hotmail.com> 

Anti-Macedonian Campaign Mars Bulgarian Census


OMO ILINDEN PIRIN

PRESS RELEASE, 6 MAR 2001

ANTIMACEDONIAN CAMPAIGN MARS BULGARIAN CENSUS

Bulgaria is presently conducting a national census that will end on 15
March. As usual after 1948, Macedonians are forced to declare their
ethnic and linguistic identity under the "Other" entry since census
forms only allow entries for Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma. In order to
better inform the population in the Pirin area the outlawed political
party OMO Ilinden PIRIN printed and distributed about 80,000 leaflets.
The leaflets contain information to the public regarding everybody's
right to freely declare their ethnic and linguistic identity and calls
Macedonians to do that without fear of retribution. However, according
to today's reports from the area now there is frequent talk on the
radio and TV that by declaring to be Macedonian one risks his pension
and/or state employee. In the article "Leaflets call Bulgarians to
declare themselves Macedonians" the 'Trud' newspaper from 3 March
writes that the Blagoevgrad branch of the ultra nationalist VMRO party
issued an alert about possible "falsification of the census because of
the presence of OMO Ilinden PIRIN sympathizers and members among the
census takers." In a letter to all institutions the VMRO calls for
adequate measures claiming national security is being threatened and
asks a stop to the activities of the "illegal macedonist
organization." In the same newspaper in another article there are news
that following the leaflet distribution the State Attorney for the
Blagoevgrad area filed charges against "unknown persons" for "causing
national
hatred." The police have been ordered to discover the printing house
where the leaflets have been printed, the persons who ordered the
printing and the persons who distributed them. The article says that
the law considers such acts felonies punishable with prison terms of
up to 6 years. The article also brings the statement by OMO Ilinden
PIRIN President Mr. Singartiiski who qualified the charges as
ridiculous as all leaflets carry the information that they have been
printed by order of the party and that if necessary a new complaint
will be filed with the European Court of Human Rights.

OMO Ilinden PIRIN protests the intimidation campaign by the Bulgarian
authorities and media whose obvious scope is to prevent Macedonians
from freely declaring their ethnic identity in the ongoing census. The
party has been outlawed by an act of the Bulgarian Constitutional
Court and is presently banned from participating in political
activities. A lawsuit is pending at the European Court for Human
Rights. 
 

OMO Ilinden PIRIN Information Service

Tel: +359-48-834-038 (Bulgarian & Macedonian)

+389-70-208-293 (English)

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