A proclamation for affirmation of the freedom of expression

A proclamation for affirmation of the freedom of expression

The freedom of expression in Republic of Macedonia is seriously endangered. Censorship and auto-censorship are becoming even more prevalent. On the other hand, nobody is fighting against hate speech and the pressures against the freedom of expression. Recently, the Government has prepared and delivered to the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia a set of laws that directly tackle freedom of expression.


Even though these laws concern all citizens, neither the citizens nor the civil sector have a real possibility to be included in the process of adopting these laws. The parliament decided to adopt these laws through a regular procedure, but instead they are being adopted through an ultra fast procedure which excludes the citizens and the civil sector in the consultative process.


The first analysis of the civil sector warned that the draft-law for civil responsibility for insult and defamation contains many inconsistencies which can’t be overcome only through the amendment debate in its final stage.


Having in mind that:
The law doesn’t only concern only the journalists and the media, but all of the citizens and civil organizations.
The citizens and the civil organizations have the right to actively participate in the improvement of the laws that concern them.
The law, in its present form, directly endangers the freedom of expression and may lead to a great number of abuses and strengthen censorship and auto-censorship.


We are demanding:

1. The Members of the Parliament to refrain from voting on the laws that directly endanger the freedom of expression.
2. The proposer (The Government) to stop the process of adopting the three laws and to begin a new process in which all the civil organizations and the citizens will be directly included through a public discussion.


We are calling upon:

All of the citizens and civil organizations, all intellectuals, journalists and other public figures to join the Front of Freedom of Expression.
Death to fascism, freedom of expression!


The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia
Center for the development of media
Civil Media
Foundation Open Society – Macedonia (FOSM)
NVO Infocenter
Coalition ‘Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities’
Macedonian Center for European Training