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Data

Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Roma in Macedonia

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Date(s) Item
1990 After republic-wide elections, a Roma member of parliament joins the ruling coalition.
Aug 1, 1990 The Presidium of the Republican Committee for Nurturing the Ethnic and Cultural Traditions of the Roma accuses the ethnic Albanian Tetivi-based Party for Democratic Prosperity in Macedonia of persistently manipulating the Roma and using Islam as its vehicle. Note This complaint is made several times during the period covered by this chronology and will not be noted unless otherwise noteworthy.
Sep 1, 1990 The leaders of the Macedonian Roma community call upon all Roma to stop identifying themselves as Albanians simply on the basis of shared religion.
Dec 19, 1991 The Democratic Progressive Party of Romanies (DPSR) is established by a group of former PSERM members due to their differences with PSERM chairman Faik Abidj.
Dec 24, 1991 Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia formally apply for EC recognition.
Feb 19, 1992 Macedonian President Kiro Gligoron announces that a special commission for ethnic questions has been formed in the Macedonian parliament. The commission includes representatives from all nationalities including the Roma.
Mar 1993 PSERM sends a letter to the UN calling for the "establishment of a Romany nation and a state to be called 'Romenistan.'" However, Roma leaders do not expect to get such a state and make the demand in order to change stereotypical attitudes toward Roma and to speak out on behalf of Roma elsewhere in Eastern Europe. They also demand 3 to 4 weekly lessons in the Romany language in elementary schools as well as a Romany language department at the University of Skopje.
Apr 8, 1993 Macedonia joins the UN.
Sep 1993 Two hours a week of instruction in the Romany language is introduced in all grades one through eight. Also, Skopje University inaugurates a Department of Romany Studies.
Jan 12, 1994 Helsinki Watch condemns Macedonia for its treatment of minorities including the Roma. The group adds that the problem is "a legacy from earlier times" and that the Macedonian government appears to be attempting to work out the problem. The report also says that minority groups are treated like second class citizens and do not enjoy the same rights as the majority in the areas of language, employment and education.
Oct 1994 PSERM wins one out of 120 parliamentary seats in national elections.
Mar 1995 The US Department of State reports that the Roma in Macedonia benefit from governmental provision of supplementary Roma-language education and Roma-language broadcasting. Little tension is evident between the Roma and other citizens of the country, say the State Department reports. (US Department of State)
Mar 1996 The US Department of State reports that there is no call yet for a full curriculum in Roma language education.(US Department of State)
Feb 1997 The US Department of State reports that Roma like other minorities in Macedonia have a political party to represent their interests. Ethnic minority Members of Parliament include, among others, 2 Roma.
Aug 3, 1998 The Stip based Association for the Protection of Human Rights of Roma (ARRP) and ERRC sources report that about twenty Roma sought medical help after they were beaten by the local police during a raid in Stip, western Macedonia. According to the ARRP, in the following two days seven Roma in Stip were individually taken to the police station in relation to the raid and were beaten there. Ms Enise Demoriva, president of a local Roma organization Eerenje’ says, this is not the fist time that the local police in Stip exercise brutality against Roma without any consideration whether the Roma are guilty or not. (ERRC - Summer Newsletter)
2005 - 2015 'Decade of Roma Inclusion' is an initiative sponsored by the World Bank, the EU, 8 Eastern European nations and the Open Society Institute (an NGO) to improve the conditions of the Roma people throughout Europe. The main goals are to fight isolation, unemployment and illiteracy through better education, health care, housing and job opportunities. Millions of Euros have been allocated for projects, however, results have yet to be seen.(Agence France Presse. 2/2/2005. “Ex-communist countries pledge to improve plight of gypsies.”)
Apr 15 - 16, 2005 Several hundred Roma protested the police arrest warrent for Amdi Bajram, the recently elected Roma mayor of Suto Orizari, the only majority Roma municipality in Macedonia. (BBC Monitoring Europe - Political. 4/16/2005. "Macedonian police searching for fugitive Roma Mayor.")
May 11, 2006 17-year-old Trajan Bekirov went missing for two weeks after being chased by police. His body was later found in a river and autopsy reports were never officially released. His parents accused the police of racial intent, believing there to be an anti-Roma bias among the police force. Charges against the officers were not pursued. (European Roma Rights Center. 2006. "Macedonian police abuse young Romani man; Romani youth found dead after being chased by police" http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2686&archiv=1)

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Information current as of July 16, 2010