MACEDONIA: No Peace without justice

Since February this year both the Macedonian forces and the armed opposition group, the National Liberation Army (NLA), have been responsible for indiscriminate killings of unarmed civilians.

Macedonia has also seen incidents of 'disappearances' and abductions, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and the massive displacement of both the ethnic Albanian and Macedonian populations, within and outside of the country.

Amnesty International UK Director of Communications Maggie Paterson said:

'Although the situation in Macedonia remains delicately balanced there can be no shortcuts to a lasting peace. If all those accused of grave human rights violations do not face justice there will be simmering resentment and little deterrent to further violations.'

Those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and serious human rights abuses in Macedonia must be brought to justice before the courts, in proceedings which respect the rights of each person suspected, as guaranteed under national law and international standards.

The Macedonian authorities have said they will investigate and prosecute war crimes allegedly perpetrated by members of the NLA. Amnesty International reminds the authorities of their obligations under domestic law, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and other international standards relating to arrest, detention and fair trials.

The organisation also calls on the Macedonian authorities to promptly and impartially investigate allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by the Macedonian military and police forces, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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