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After DASH's criticism, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia comes out with an important warning
Written by SOT.COM.AL 21 Mars 2023
The criticisms of the American Department of State (DASH) in the annual report on Human Rights should serve for greater commitment of institutions in improving the situation in the relevant fields, in particular in the judiciary, as well as the fight against corruption and organized crime. the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, declared on Tuesday.
In the DASH report, in the section on North Macedonia, there is mention of serious government corruption, lack of responsibility for gender-based and domestic violence, inhumane and degrading treatment in prisons, threats of violence against journalists and threats and violence directed at members of the LGBT community (homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender).
"Such reports should be used to improve the situation in society, especially in the ones we analyze. Trust in the judiciary is something for which the whole society must work, and above all the judicial bodies. We aim to implement more projects, where I would emphasize the vetting process, which should include all appointed and elected officials. This process must be done in cooperation with the USA and the EU", Kovacevski declared.
In the report of the US Department of State, among other things, it is said that although North Macedonia has a law that provides for criminal penalties for corruption by officials, there are still reports of officials involved in corruption.
"Public opinion polls have repeatedly mentioned corruption as one of the main concerns of citizens... The Constitution provides for autonomous and independent courts, but the Government has not always respected the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. Cases of judicial misconduct, undue political pressure, bribes to judges, protracted justice, as well as insufficient judicial staff continue to hamper the effectiveness of the court and affect public confidence in the rule of law."
The report, among other things, talks about poor conditions in prisons, inhumane conditions in overcrowded prison wards, and corrupt prison staff, as well as that the police abused detainees and prisoners and used excessive force. to them.
"Regarding the situation in prisons, the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions, with the support of the Government, but also of international partners, I think the EU, the USA and other financiers, work to eliminate all the highlighted remarks. Efforts are being made to improve the conditions in all the country's prisons", the Macedonian Prime Minister declared.
As for the work of the media, the DASH report mentions violence and threats against media workers, but also divided reporting.
"The media continues to be divided along political lines, but the number of independent media outlets that actively express diverse views without apparent restrictions continues to grow," the report mentions.
Prime Minister Kovacevski has said that the report was drawn up before the amendments to the Penal Code that protect journalists from violence and threats were approved, as an attack on journalists is considered an attack on officials./REL