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Old 02-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Examples of Human Rights Abuses in Greece - 1913 to 1993

Examples of Human Rights Abuses in Greece - 1913 to 1993

In 1913 following its victory in the First and Second Balkan Wars, Greece officially annexed 51 per cent of Macedonia. This was against the desire of the population of Macedonia for an independent and autonomous country.

In 1916 the author John Reed in his book “The War in Eastern Europe” wrote about the aftermath of the First Balkan War and how the Greeks and Serbians tried to legitimize their takeover of the territory while also trying to wipe out the Bulgarian influence.

He wrote “A thousand Greek and Serbian publicists began to fill the world with their shouting about the essentially Greek or Serbian character of the populations of their different spheres. The Serbs gave the unhappy Macedonians twenty four hours to renounce their nationality and proclaim themselves Serbs, and the Greeks did the same. Refusal meant murder or expulsion. Greek and Serbian colonists were poured into the occupied country...The Greek newspapers began to talk about a Macedonia peopled entirely with Greeks - and they explained the fact that no one spoke Greek by calling the people "Bulgarophone" Greeks...the Greek army entered villages where no one spoke their language. "What do you mean by speaking Bulgarian?" cried the officers. "This is Greece and you must speak Greek".”

The Carnegie Commission Report on the Balkan Wars indicated that 161 villages were burned down and more than 16,000 houses were destroyed in the Greek occupied part of Macedonia.

On August 10th, 1920 at Serves, Paris, Britain, France, Italy and Japan concluded an agreement with Greece on the protection of non Greek people. Greece pledged full protection for the Macedonians living in Greece, their language and culture and the opening of Macedonian schools.

In Section 2 of the agreement Greece pledged to extend full care over the life and freedom of all citizens irrespective of their origin, nationality, language or faith.

Clause 7 reads: "All Greek citizens will avail themselves of the same civic and political rights irrespective of nationality, language and faith... and to legally guarantee the freedom of use by each citizen of any language in personal, trade and religious contacts, in print and publications or meetings..."

Clause 8 states: "Greek citizens belonging to national, religious or language minorities will be treated on par with native Greeks."

Clause 9 reads: As regards education, the Greek government will create appropriate facilitations and will safeguard the possibility of learning one's own language in schools of towns and areas inhabited by citizens speaking a language different than Greek."

On September 4, 1925, the office of High Commissioner for National Minorities was established in Solun, northern Greece, for the observance of international agreements concerning national minorities.

However, none of these assurances were put into practice. Instead the Greek government adopted a policy of denationalization and assimilation while simultaneously denying the existence of Macedonians in Greece.

In 1925 the ABECEDAR, a primer in the Macedonian language was published in Athens. This was an elementary book for teaching the Macedonian language and was written in the Latin alphabet. It was designed for Macedonian children. However, it was never distributed to them. After the departure of representatives of the League of Nations, the booklets were destroyed.

This booklet was republished in Perth in 1993 by the Macedonian Information Centre to prove the booklet's existence and the fact that Greece was once accountable to the world for its Macedonian people living in Greece.

In the 1920s Macedonian schools were closed, not opened. Kindergartens were established in Macedonian localities so children could be inculcated in a Greek spirit and to limit the influence of parents. This was despite a November 11, 1930 press conference in Athens at which prime minister Elefterios Venizelos said, "The problem of a Macedonian national minority will be solved and I will be the first one to commit myself to the opening of Macedonian schools if the nation so wishes."

On March 30, 1927 the Greek newspaper Rizospastis wrote that 500,000 Macedonians were resettled to Bulgaria.

On the basis of a Greek thesis: "the faith determines the nation", hundreds of thousands of Turks and Macedonians of Muslim faith were resettled to Asia Minor. They were replaced by 638,253 Christian Turk colonists brought in from Asia Minor.

November 1926: a legal Act was issued to change Macedonian geographic names into the Greek version. The news of the Act was published in the Greek government daily “Efimeris tis Kiverniseos” No. 322 of November 21, 1926. The same newspaper in its No. 346 published the new, official, Greek names. The names of the people were changed too. First names as well as family names were changed to Greek versions. These are still officially binding to this day.

In 1929 a legal Act was issued On the Protection of Public Order, whereby each demand for “national rights” was regarded as high treason. This law is still in force.

On December 18, 1936 the Metaxas dictatorship issued a legal Act On the Activity Against State Security. On the basis of this Act, thousands of Macedonians were arrested, imprisoned or expelled from Greece.

On September 7, 1938 the legal Act 2366 was issued. This banned the use of the Macedonian language. All Macedonian localities were flooded with posters that read "Speak Greek". Evening schools were opened in which adult Macedonians were taught Greek. There was not a single Macedonian school at the time. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 Macedonians were imprisoned or sent to prison camps for having used the Macedonian language.

During the Greek Civil War, the Headquarters of the Democratic Army of Greece reported that from mid-1945 to May 20, 1947 in Western Macedonia alone 13,529 Macedonians were tortured, 3,215 were imprisoned and 268 were executed without trial. In addition, 1,891 houses were burnt down and 1,553 were looted and 13,808 Macedonians were resettled by force.

During the war years, Greek-run prison camps where Macedonians were imprisoned, tortured and murdered included: the island of Ikaria near Turkey, the island of Makronisos near Athens, the jail Averov near Athens, the jail at Larica near the Volos Peninsula, and the jail in Solun. Among other places, there were mass killings on Vicho, Gramos, Kaymakchalan, and at Mala Prespa in Albania.

In 1947, during the Greek Civil War, the legal Act L-2 was issued. This meant that all who left Greece without the consent of the Greek government were stripped of Greek citizenship and banned from returning to the country. The law applied to Greeks and Macedonians, but in its modernized version the Act is binding only on Macedonians. It prevents Macedonians but not Greeks who fought against the winning side to return to Greece and reclaim property. Among those not allowed to return to Greece are the 28,000 child refugees who have not renounced their Macedonian ethnicity.

On January 20, 1948 legal Act M was issued. This allowed the Greek government to confiscate the property of those who were stripped of their citizenship. The law was updated in 1985 to exclude Greeks but it is still binding on Macedonians.

On November 27, 1948 the United Nations issued resolution 193C (III) which called for the repatriation of all child refugees back to Greece. However, discriminatory laws introduced by the Greek government have prevented the free return of many thousands of the Macedonian child refugees. This is still the case in 2011.

On August 23, 1953 legal Act 2536 was issued. This meant that all those who left Greece and who did not return within three years' time could be deprived of their property. This facilitated the confiscation of Macedonian property.

Around the same time a decision was taken to resettle Macedonians. A wide ranging media campaign was launched to induce the Macedonians to leave their native areas voluntarily and to settle in the south of Greece and on the islands. The Greek intention was to separate Macedonians living in Greece from their relatives, living in the Republic of Macedonia, and to create a 60 kilometer-wide belt along the border with the then Yugoslavia where "the faithful sons of the Greek nation" could be settled.

A firm reaction from Yugoslavia saw the cancellation of the plan.

In 1959 legal Act 3958 was issued. This allowed for the confiscation of the land of those (Macedonians) who left Greece and did not return within five years' time. The law was amended in 1985, but it is still binding on Macedonians.

In 1960 the first secretary of the Greek Communist Party, H. Florakis, was brought to court and charged with high treason for supporting the existence of Macedonians in Greece.

In September 1988 at the press conference in Solun, the same Florakis said that the Greek Communist Party had changed its views and that it now recognized neither the existence of Macedonians nor the existence of a Macedonian national minority.

On August 30, 1989, the same H. Florakis demanded from the Greek parliament the eradication from the currently legally binding Acts the term "Greek by origin" which made it impossible for the Macedonians to return to their homeland and to recover their property. He branded this term “racist”. The Greek press charged him with treason.

In 1961 Michal Gramatnikowski was not allowed to get close to his mother. Michal saw his mother on the Greek frontier from a distance of 100 meters. The Greek border guards would not permit them to come closer.

Filip Wasilew Dimitris from Pozdivista (official Greek name: Halara) of Moscow made repeated attempts to obtain a Greek visa in the Greek embassy in Moscow. The last application he put in was in August 1989 but to no avail.

Georgios Nicolaos Cocos, a Macedonian political refugee who fought against a German armored division in the defense of Greece, was living in Tashkent (former Soviet Union) and wished to return to Greece. But, despite his repeated attempts to enter Greece the Greek authorities would not give him a visa. He even made a direct request to Prime Minister Andrea Papandreou from his death bed and that too did not help him. He died without seeing his family, his home or his homeland.

Sandra Cinika twice tried to go to her village of birth in Greece on an excursion for aged and disabled pensioners. Each time the Greek embassy in Warsaw would not give her a visa because she was not a Greeks by origin. Cinika as well as other Macedonians, including mixed Greek-Macedonian couples, were refused visas.

In 1962 legal Act 4234 was issued. Persons who were stripped of their Greek citizenship were banned from returning to Greece. A ban on crossing the Greek border also extended to spouses and children. This law is still in force for Macedonians, including those who left Greece as children.

Macedonians abroad believe Greek diplomatic posts worldwide are not allowed to issue visas to Macedonians. They have lists of Macedonian refugees from Greece who do not qualify for visas.

In 1969 a legal Act was issued to allow Greeks to occupy and confiscate abandoned Macedonian farms belonging to exiled Macedonians.

The Greek government has continued its ethnic restocking program with the colonization of Greek occupied Macedonia with over one hundred thousand colonists originating from the ex-Soviet Union. These are termed Pontian Greeks.

In 1978 the consul of the Greek embassy in Warsaw, Poland stomped over a travel document issued by Polish authorities which had the Polish national emblem. The reason: the name of the applicant was in Macedonian/Polish and not in Greek. The Macedonian name Mito Aleksowski was written on the document and not the Greek Dimitris Alexiou.

In 1980 Michal Gramatnikowski, a Macedonian, sent a letter to the Greek prime minister asking him to grant him a visa so that he could visit his ill mother in Greece. He received neither a reply nor a visa.

In early 1982 a confidential report by the security branch of the Greek police in Solun came to light. Dated March 8, 1982, the report contained highly controversial and inhumane recommendations and strategies on how to deal with the "Macedonian problem".

On December 29, 1982 legal Act 106841 was issued by the government of Andreas Papandreou. This allowed Greeks by origin that had fled during the Greek Civil War to return to Greece and reclaim their Greek citizenship. Macedonians born in Greece and their families were excluded and remain in exile. Heads of various State administration departments were given the right to use the abandoned properties left by Macedonian refugees.

Greek authorities frequently reject requests from Macedonians for the recovery of their Greek citizenship. This is done despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says that "Everyone has the right to leave every country, including one's own and to return to his own country," that "Each person has the right to have a citizenship," and that "No one can be freely dispossessed of his citizenship."

In 1983 the Greek government decided that it would no longer recognize university degrees from the Republic of Macedonia. Its stated reason was that "the Macedonian language is not internationally recognized." This is incorrect and hides the real motive.

On October 17, 1983 Lazo Jovanovski wrote a letter to the Greek Minister of Internal Affairs asking for the restoration of his citizenship. He has never received a reply.

The same happened to Spiro Steriovski and Kosta Wlakantchovski in 1983.

In 1983 Toli Radovski, living in Gdynia, Poland, wrote a letter to the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs in Athens asking for the restoration of his citizenship. He did not receive a reply. The lack of reply forced him to ask the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva for help. Thanks to the intervention of the Centre, after four years a reply from Athens arrived. Quoting the relevant legal Acts, the Ministry of Internal Affairs rejected his demand for the recovery of citizenship.

In 1984 Toli Radovski wrote a letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs asking for a visa. He did not receive the visa or a reply.

In 1984 the Movement for Human and National Rights for the Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia, operating in Greece illegally, issued a Manifest for Macedonian Human Rights. This states "In Greece human rights are openly disregarded and our human existence is cursed. We, in Aegean Macedonia, are determined to carry our struggle on various levels, employing all legal means until our rights are guaranteed."

On April 10, 1985 legal Act 1540/ 85 was issued. This amended the previously issued Acts regulating property relations so as to make it impossible for Macedonians to return. This discriminatory Act limits the definition of political refugees to ethnic Greeks and permits the recovery of illegally seized property to "Greeks by origin" only. Once again, the Macedonian refugees from Greece are denied the same rights.

In 1986 former Minister for Northern Greece, N. Martis, addressed a letter to the Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, entitled Falsification of the History of Macedonia, in which he denied the existence of a Macedonian nation.

Several times during the 1980s Greek officials have admonished overseas officials for recognizing a Macedonian nationality. Minister for Macedonia and Thrace (previously for Northern Greece) Stelios Papatamelis sent a letter to Pope John Paul II admonishing him for having uttered his Christmas and New Year greetings in the "non-existent Macedonian language." Greek authorities protested to the US ambassador in the then Yugoslavia for having uttered a few sentences in the "non-existent Macedonian language" while visiting the Republic of Macedonia.

In June, 1986 at its 49th Congress, the international writers' organization, PEN, condemned the denial of the Macedonian language by Greece and sent letters to the Greek PEN Centre and the Greek Minister for Culture. The Greek response was a denial of the existence of a Macedonian minority.

In 1987 the Encyclopedia Britannica put the number of Macedonians in Greece at 180,000. This is considerably more than the Greek government will admit to, which is around 80,000, but considerably less than what the Macedonians themselves believe, which varies between 300,000 and one million.

In 1987 Macedonian parents in Aegean Macedonia were forced to send their 2 and 3 year old children to "integrated kindergartens" to prevent them from learning the Macedonian language at home. The ruling was not implemented elsewhere in Greece.

The far right Greek newspaper Stohos has written: "Everyone who will openly manifest his views concerning the Macedonian minority will curse the hour of their birth."

In February 1988, the Athenian newspaper Ergatiki Alilengii criticized the discriminatory policy of Greek authorities towards Macedonians. It also criticized the anti-Macedonian hysteria in certain mass media.

In June 1988, Gona and Tome Miovski of Perth were on their way to Yugoslavia and wished to visit Greece. They were arrested in Athens airport, beaten up and locked in separate underground rooms. They were beaten up again the next day. They were released 24 hours later, after the intervention of the representative of Yugoslav Airlines and were expelled from Greece.

On July 5 and 6, 1988 two groups of Macedonian refugees who had come from Australia and Canada wanted to visit their homeland in Greece. Both coaches were stopped on the Greek frontier. Surrounded by armed policemen the coaches stood in the open air at 42 degrees Centigrade: one for two hours and the other for four hours. Opening of the windows was prohibited. The passengers had a seal stamped in their passports which forbade them to cross the Greek frontier. The vehicles and their passengers had to return. There are photographs and video-film of this incident.

During late June and early July 1988 a large demonstration of Macedonians who had left Greece as children in 1948 took place in Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia. The demonstration was attended by several thousand Macedonians from all over the world. A petition to the United Nations and many national governments was addressed.

On August 10, 1988, on the 75th anniversary of the occupation and partition of Macedonia, a large demonstration by Macedonians was held outside the UN building in New York.

On September 4, 1988 Mito Aleksovski addressed an open letter to the Greek embassy in Warsaw asking for a visa. He received no reply.

In the northern autumn of 1988, the Alagi newspaper in Lerin (Greek name Florina) wrote that the Macedonians do exist and that they should have the full rights of a national minority. The newspaper pledged to fight for those rights until victory.

In November 1988 the same newspaper published the statement by one of the leaders of the Greek Communist Party, Mr Kostopulos, who said that it was a fact that the Macedonian minority existed in Greece.

In its issue No 1/89 the Athens monthly Sholiastis published an article by Mrs Elewteria Panagiopoulou entitled “Nationalists and the Inhabitants of Skopje”, in which she demands a halt to the discriminatory policy of authorities and abolition of the inhuman legal acts aimed against the Macedonians. In another article the same author calls Macedonians "the Palestinians of Europe".

In the spring of 1989, 90 Greek intellectuals addressed a note of protest to the Greek government in connection with the common violation of human rights in Greece.

In 1989 during the Bicentenary of Australia, Greece organized an exhibition in Sydney entitled Ancient Macedonia: the Wealth of Greece. The Greek President Sardzetakis toured various Australian cities and disseminated anti-Macedonian propaganda. After a sharp reaction from Macedonians in Australia, the Greek government protested to the Australian government for letting the Macedonian protests to occur.

On May 11, 1989 a Macedonian folk ensemble was expelled from Greece without reason. The ensemble had come to the locality of Komotini for a "Festival of Friendship" at the invitation of its organizers. A similar occurrence took place in 1988.

On May 20, 1989 Minister for Macedonia and Thrace (Northern Greece) Stelios Papatemelis appealed to the Greeks to wage a sacred war against Macedonians.

On May 28, 1989 the Association of Macedonians in Poland sent to the Greek embassy an invitation for its first congress. There was no representative from the embassy and there was no answer to the invitation. On June 10, 1989 the participants of the First Congress of the Association of Macedonians in Poland addressed a petition to the Greek government concerning the situation of Macedonians. There was no reply. On June 26, 1989 the Association of Macedonians in Poland sent a letter to the Greek embassy in Warsaw concerning visas for Macedonians. The embassy informed the Polish Post Office about the receipt of the letter. Despite this there was no reply.

In May 1989 an international delegation of Macedonians from Australia, Canada and Greece presented the problem of the Macedonian national minority in Greece to the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva. They also met with representatives of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

On June 22, 1989 the Helsinki Committee in Poland addressed an appeal to the state cosignatories to the CSCE Final Act concerning the situation of Macedonians in Greece.

In summer 1989 the New York Times printed an article entitled Macedonians are not Greeks.

Between June 26 and 30, 1989 at Columbia University in New York, Greeks held a symposium entitled History, Culture and the Art of Macedonia. The purpose of the symposium was to convince American society that Macedonia is Greek. The symposium occasioned strong protests from Macedonians in the United States and Canada.

In the summer of 1989 the Atika, the Munich-Athens-Munich express train serviced by Greeks would not take, despite available seats, passengers from Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia.

In June 1989, Greek Prime Minister A. Papandreou at a pre-election meeting in the Macedonian locality of Lerin (Florina in Greek) said that if he won the election he would build a factory in which only the locals (that is how he described the Macedonians) would be employed.

He also said that he would abolish law 1540. This law was issued during his rule and of his own initiative in 1985 and deprived the Macedonian refugees of the right to the property they had left behind in Greece.

In July 1989 the Athens Information Agency issued a leaflet in English entitled “The So Called Macedonian Problem”. This leaflet denies the existence of a Macedonian minority in Greece.

At a rally in Solun on July 29, 1989 President Sardzetakis said "Macedonia was, is and will always be Greek."

After parliamentary elections in 1989 thousands of leaflets were found in the ballot boxes in the area of Macedonia in Northern Greece which contained protests against the disregard for human rights in Greece.

On August 30, 1989 a legal Act rehabilitating the participants in the Greek Civil War of 1946-49 was issued. The Act granted damages and disability pensions to fighters in the civil war who now have Greek citizenship. By this measure the Macedonian fighters living in exile who earlier had been stripped of their citizenship were rendered ineligible.

In September 1989 the Athenian newspaper Avriani wrote that the demands of some members of parliament for the abolition in Greek law of the term "Greek by origin" creates a serious threat to the national unity and territorial sovereignty of Greece.

The newspaper also wrote that the "second group" of refugees i.e. Macedonian refugees as opposed to refugees of Greek origin, could return to Greece under the condition that they unambiguously declare their Greek origin, i.e. deny their Macedonian ethnicity.

In September 1989 the Ta Maglena newspaper asked "Why are the Macedonians discriminated against?" The newspaper also asked "Why does Greece not observe international legal acts?" At the same time it warned Macedonians against the agents of the Greek Security Service whose number in Macedonian localities is unimaginable.

In November 1989 the Sholiastis monthly published an interview with several members of the illegal Movement for Human and National Rights for Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia.

In December 1989, during a period when there was public discussion about the Macedonian problem, the Greek press warned "The enemy is at the door."

On January 29, 1990 The Times newspaper published an ethnographic map of Europe which shows that Macedonians are living in Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia.

In February 1990 The Guardian newspaper wrote "the Macedonian problem is knocking on the door of Europe. It must be solved before the Balkans joins the united Europe."

In 1990 a feature film entitled Macedonia was made in Sweden. It is a six part TV series which correctly presents Macedonian refugees as homeless and wandering.

On February 21, 1990 Constantinos Mitsotakis, then leader of the New Democracy party, said at a press conference in the town of Janina that he is increasingly convinced that the Greek policy in relation to national minorities should be more aggressive. He said "We have nothing to fear. We are clean because Greece is the only Balkan country without the problem of national minorities." He added "The Macedonian minority does not exist and is not recognized by international agreements."

On March 7, 1990 Nikolaos Martis, former Minister for Northern Greece, declared that the Macedonian nation is an invention of the Communist party of Yugoslavia.

On March 25, 1990 in a television address, President Sardzetakis said "Only native Greeks live in Greece."

The Greek government warned the former Yugoslavia that should it not stop discussing the problem of the "so-called Macedonian national minority" Greece will not render it support in cooperating with and eventually joining the EEC.

In 1990 the High Court of Florina under decision 19/33/3/1990 refused to register a Centre for Macedonian Culture. An appeal on August 9 the same year against the decision was also refused. In May 1991 a second appeal was refused by the High Court of Appeals in Solun. In June 1991 the Supreme Administrative Council of Greece in Athens dismissed a further appeal.

In June 1990 at the Copenhagen Conference on Human Rights (CHD), the Greek delegation requested that the executive secretary of the conference remove the Macedonian Human Rights delegation's literature from the non-government organization's desk. The request was refused.

Later, two Macedonian human rights campaigners from Aegean Macedonia who participated in the CHD experienced official State harassment upon their return to Greece.

One, Hristo Sideropoulos, was transferred through his work to Kefalonia, several hundred kilometres from his home place. The other participant, Stavros Anastasiadis, was given discriminatory tax penalties and dismissed from his job.

On July 20, 1990 at the village of Meliti near Lerin (Florina) a Macedonian folk festival was broken up by force by Greek authorities and police.

In its June, 1991 edition the Atlantic Monthly magazine ran an extensive story detailing many of the atrocities committed in Macedonia during the Balkan Wars and following the partition of Macedonia.

The author, Robert Kaplan, also said "Greece, for its part, according to a Greek consular official whom I visited in Skopje, does not permit anyone with a "Slavic" name who was born in northern Greece and now lives in Yugoslav Macedonia to visit Greece, even if he or she has relatives there. This means that many families have been separated for ever."

On December 10, 1991 the Greek Central Committee of the Australian Labor Party in Victoria sent a letter addressed to all Victorian Labor Federal parliamentarians and all State Labor parliamentarians. The letter explicitly denies the existence of a Macedonian minority in Greece. Point 4 refers to "Misinformation claiming that an ethnic "minority" of Macedonians in Greece is being denied its cultural rights. Greece has no ethnic minority other than a Moslem religious minority."

In January, 1992, six members of the OAKKE anti-nationalist group were condemned to 6 and a half months imprisonment for putting up posters for the recognition of Macedonia.

In February, 1992 the Guardian newspaper published an article about the town of Florina in Greece and the struggle of its Macedonian inhabitants to maintain their identity in the face of Greek repression.

On March 12, 1992 the Canberra Times ran an article, What's in a Name? For Greeks a Great Deal, by Peter Hill, the author of the section Macedonians in the official Australian Bicentenary encyclopedia the Australian People. The article affirmed the existence of a large Macedonian minority in Greece and the existence of official discrimination and the denial of human rights.

Mr. Hill said "The claim by the Greek Republic that their part of Macedonia has "one of the most homogenous populations in the world (98.5 per cent Greek)" is quite absurd. In fact, some parts of it, such as the county of Florina (Lerin), do not have any indigenous Greek inhabitants at all."

In March, 1992 the organizers of the Moomba Festival in Melbourne asked the Macedonian community participants not to use the name Macedonia on their float after representations were made to the Moomba organizers by the Greek lobby in Australia and by the Victorian Minister for Ethnic Affairs. The Macedonians refused. The ministry later said that threats to the Macedonians' safety had been received.

On April 2, 1992 the Ambassador of Greece to Australia, VS Zafiropoulos, wrote a letter to the Canberra Times newspaper in which he said "Macedonia, Greece's most northerly province, does not contain a significant minority who are ethnically related to the Slavs across the border".

"In fact, Greece is the most homogenous country in Europe and if a small number of Greeks on the border speak, beside Greek, a Slavic idiom, this bilingualism does not constitute a minority."

In May, 1992 Australian journalist Richard Farmer visited Aegean Macedonia and published an article in the Sunday Telegraph, Sydney entitled Freedom Fragile in Macedonia. The article described numerous examples of human rights abuses witnessed by Farmer, including the jamming by Greek authorities of Easter services broadcast in the Macedonian language from the Republic of Macedonia and listened to by Macedonians in Greece.

The Greek lobby in Australia subsequently took Farmer to the Press Council but were unable to deny him his right to publish.

In July, 1992 Archimandrite Nikodemos Tsarknias, a priest with the Greek Orthodox Church and a well known Macedonian human rights campaigner, and a parishioner, Photios Tzelepis, were issued with a Writ of Summons to appear in the Magistrate's Court of Solun. The priest was charged with insulting his Archbishop. He is also accused of being a homosexual and a Skopjan (Republic of Macedonia) spy.

However, a KYP (Greek Secret Service) report published in a Greek newspaper revealed that the minor charge in the Summons was a pretext to harass the priest for his human rights activism. The report says the authorities "did not find the courage to say that they kicked him out of the church for his anti-Hellenic stance and to ask for his committal to trial for high treason but instead they removed him with the lukewarm "justification" which we reveal today so that it will stain with shame all those who contributed to it."

In July 1992 the Macedonian Human Rights Association of Newcastle (Australia) published the book “The Real Macedonians” by Dr. John Shea, an Irish academic at Newcastle University. The book gives a great number of reference sources about the ethnicity of the Macedonian people, the partition of Macedonia, the ethnic cleansing and repopulation of Aegean Macedonia, and the Greek Civil War. Chapter 13 is titled “Denial Of Human Rights For Macedonian Minorities”.

On August 15, 1992 The Spectator magazine published an article, The New Bully of the Balkans, by Noel Malcolm. The article discusses the plight of the main ethnic minorities in Greece including the Macedonians, the Vlachs, and the Turks.

On the Macedonians, Mr. Malcolm asks "How many of these Slavs still live in Greece is not known. The 1940 census registered 85,000 'Slav-speakers'. The 1951 census (the last to record any figures for speakers of other languages) put it at 41,000; many who had fought on the losing side in the civil war had fled, but other evidence shows that all the censuses heavily underestimate the Slav's numbers. The lack of a question on the census-form is not, however, the only reason for their obscurity."

Mr. Malcolm says "One group of these Slavs has started a small monthly newsletter, with an estimated readership of 10,000. But they have great difficulty finding a printer (even though it is in Greek), and they say that if copies are sent through the post they tend to 'disappear'. ‘Even if we find a sympathetic printer,’ one told me, ‘he's usually too scared to take the work: he's afraid of losing his other contracts, or perhaps of getting bricks through his window."

In 1992 a spokesman for the Pan Macedonian Association of Victoria, a Greek racist organization, was interviewed on SBS television. The spokesman said that there are no Macedonians in Florina. This was a direct lie as Florina (formerly Lerin in Macedonian) is well known to have an almost exclusively Macedonian population. In fact a large number of Macedonian immigrants now living in Melbourne and Perth are from Florina. This organization has on other occasions made similar claims on SBS television.

In November, 1992 Amnesty International published a report entitled “Greece: Violations of the Right to Freedom of Expression”. This gave details on a number of human rights abuses by Greece including the repression of the Macedonian human rights campaigners, Hristos Sideropoulos and Tasos Boulis.

In November, 1992 Pollitecon Publications of Sydney published the book “What Europe Has Forgotten: The Struggle Of The Aegean Macedonians”. The book was written by the Association of Macedonians in Poland and was one of the first English language books to detail human rights abuses against the Macedonians in Greece.

On December 5, 1992 The Sydney Morning Herald published an article titled “The Balkan Dance of Death” by Bob Beale. Mr Beale says "Greece's record of dealing with its Greek Macedonian minority is poor. A specialist in Balkan ethnic minorities, Hugh Poulton, has noted that in the wake of the bitter civil war - during and after World War II - Greece actively sought to remove Slav Macedonians from its north as ‘undesirable aliens’."

"At various times since, it has forbidden Macedonians in Greece from using the Macedonian forms of their names, removed them from official posts in Greek held Macedonia and suppressed their language - measures that led many to emigrate to places like Australia."

In January, 1993 Amnesty International published another report – “Greece: Violations of the Right to Freedom of Expression: Further Cases of Concern”. This report detailed the case of Michail Papadakis, a 17 year old school boy who had been arrested on December 10, 1992 for handing out a leaflet that said "Don't be consumed by nationalism. Alexander the Great: war criminal. Macedonia belongs to its people. There are no races; we are all of mixed descent."

In January, 1993 the Macedonian Movement for Prosperity in the Balkans held its first congress, in Sobotsko, Greece. The MMPB issued a statement highlighting Greece's discriminatory policy towards its Macedonian minority and in particular the denial of basic human rights.

The MMPB said ethnic Macedonians in Greece and Macedonians in the Diaspora should cooperate closely to further ethnic, religious, linguistic and social freedoms for all minorities in Greece. The organization urged the Greek government to allow Macedonian political and economic refugees to return to Greece if they desired.

In February 1993 a meeting was held between the Macedonian Forum for Human Rights and the Greek Balkan Citizens' Movement to open up dialog to help solve existing problems between the two countries.

In February, 1993, president of the Republic of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, speaking at the United Nations on the possible admission of Macedonia to the body, criticized Greece for its treatment of its Macedonian minority.

Mr. Gligorov said "It is surprising that the Republic of Greece disputes article 49 of our Constitution which refers to the care of the Republic of Macedonia for our minority in the neighbouring countries. It should be pointed out that there is a similar provision in the Greek constitution. It is a well known fact that the Republic of Greece does not admit the existence of a Macedonian minority there. From this we derive the following logical questions."

"A. If such a minority does not exist in the Republic of Greece, then this article does not refer to this country and their reactions are surprising."

"B. If such a minority does exist, which is indisputable, why does Greece not fulfill at least the basic rights of this minority provided in the UN Charter, the Helsinki Document, the Charter of Paris, etc., of which it is a signatory party."

"C. "Most important of all, is this the reason that the Republic of Greece opposes the recognition of the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name?"

In March 1993, the Archimandite Nikodemos Tsarknias was defrocked and expelled from the Greek Orthodox Church for his human rights activism.

On March 26, 1993, five members of the OSE organization were put on trial for publishing and distributing a pamphlet entitled Crisis in the Balkans: the Macedonian Question and the Working Class. They were charged with exposing the friendly relations of Greece with foreign countries to risk of disturbance; spreading false information and rumours that might cause anxiety and fear to citizens; and inciting citizens to rivalry and division leading to disturbance of the peace.

On April 1, 1993 Macedonian human rights campaigners Hristos Sideropoulos and Tasos Boulis were put on trial after their comments about the existence of the Macedonian minority were published in ENA magazine in March 1992. They were charged with spreading false information and rumours that might cause anxiety and fear to the citizens. They were sentenced to five months imprisonment.

The World Macedonian Congress said that the defense counsel was not allowed to present its views. An appeal was launched to the higher court in Athens.

In April, 1993 the Macedonian Information Centre in Perth republished the booklet the ABECEDAR, originally published by the Greek government in 1925 as a teaching aid for Macedonian children, but which was never distributed.

In April, 1993 the Belgian press was quoted as saying that Greece was quickly losing its democratic reputation. The press was quoted as saying that "Greece, undermining the European principles of respecting basic human rights, is placing itself at the margins of Europe."

In May, 1993 the Macedonian Movement for Balkan Prosperity, based in Arideja, Greece, said that it wanted to participate in the Macedonian-Greek dialog underway under the auspices of the United Nations to settle the issue of the name of the Republic of Macedonia. The Movement said the participation of the Macedonians in Greece was imperative and that it was time to determine the status of the Macedonians in Greece as well as those forced to leave during the Greek Civil War.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:08 AM   #2
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Here are some examples of human rights abuses in Greece. If only we can find the actual articles.

These reports were published also in the following Greek newspapers: ,,Elinikos Voras" Thessaloniki, 4.8.1959; ,,Vima" - Athens, 78.7.1959; ,,Elpheteria" - Athens, 7.7.1959; Elinikos Voras, 8.8.1959

Prohibition for the use of local folk dances

- ,,Stohos" newspaper, 16.4.1987: ,,We made a list of all persons, singing in a dialect at fairs, weddings, etc.
Do not sing in another language or „ idiom " but Greek, because you will curse the day you were born. "
- ,,Stohos" newspaper - 21.8.1986; In the publication: ,,The perfect danced in the rhythm of horo on the sounds ,,Free Macedonia" and,,Eleno, girl, Eleno" is mentioned that on Ascension Day in the village of Atrapos the perfect danced ring dance in the rhythm of Macedonian Songs and appeals as follows:
„... Speaking and singing on any other language but Greek is not allowed. Cut their tongues off so we can save Greece".
- ,,Mahitis" newspaper - 6.8.1987 - There was a wedding with folk music in the village of Melitis (Vostarevo). Four cars with members of KIP (Greek Intelligence) blocked the wedding from all sides and recorded the music the language spoken at the wedding.


With the aim to wipe out any evidence for the existence of Macedonians the newspaper ,,Stohos" from 13.08.1987 writes:
,,Search well around and whenever you see in a village or in a city a grave with Slav idols - destroy it! Do not be afraid. If someone tries to stop you tell him that the nation has ordered it. Place Greece, Orthodoxy and the Armed Forces in your hearts! You are Greek! Do not forget it"


From an article in "Ta Moglena" newspaper, May-June 1989. The article is published under heading "Why".
- Why files with our Macedonian names are opened every day;
- Why they part us and do not promote us on important posts?;
- Why the Macedonians do not reached the ranks of ,,general"?;
- Why Macedonians are not promoted for Secretary General and Prefects Macedonian?;
- Why they do not become Macedonian Bishops or priests?;
- Why recently there is a tremendous exile and the Macedonian employees are moved from their offices?
Referring this it gives the local country men the following advice: To be able to keep yourself you have to be informed. If you see BMW or Mercedes cars stopped in front the cafe you have to know that these are the gorillas of KIP and EUP /Intelligence services of Greece/, so be careful what you speak in this cafe".


In the first issue of the published in Greek "Zora" newspaper from October 1993, there is an article "Inquire of the Minister of Finance and Agriculture" in which the fact is revealed that about 300 ha of land belonging to the "St. Pantaleimon" community is distributed without any lawful grounds among Greeks coming from USSR (Pontian Greeks). At the meeting between the countrymen and the Lerin prefect they received the following astonishing answer:
Let them take not only your land but your houses as well and I will do nothing because these people - citizens of Vetora village are Pontian Greeks and you are Slavofons. Go to search your rights in Skopje and Sofia".


Several more important acts, depriving the citizens of Aegean Macedonia of Greek citizenship and property during the years 1946-1949.

1. Decree No.LZ/47 from 1947 with headline: ,,To deprive of Greek citizenship persons who act anti-nationally". By this decision all persons, supporting ,,the Democratic army of the Greek Communist party" were deprived of Greek citizenship.
2. Decree M/48 with legal power from January 198 for "confiscation of the entire or part of the property of the participants in the guerilla war and their assistants".
3. Decree No.48 from April 1948 for "losing property due to anti-state activities".

In the following years many decrees were passed, such as Nos. 944, 258, 800 from April 3 and July 20th 1951, for the application of Decree No.976/46 for repatriation of the persons, living near the borders. Later new laws were adopted, because these were considered insufficient.


The Minister of the National Education and Religion considering
a) the provisions of Article 46 of the Law No. 1238/82;
b) Decision No. 1/5421: proclaims that the diplomas of ,,St. Cyril and Metodius" University in Skopje are not recognized by the Ministry.


According to the denationalization policy, adopted in 1913, the use of Macedonian names was forbidden. The names received the typical Greek endings or were changed entirely. The use of the word ,,macedonian" was forbidden in order to avoid the possibility for claiming another ethnocultural identity than the Greek one.


Until several years ago Aegean Macedonia was officially called "Northern Greece" and only since August 1988 in the existing new circumstances has adopted the name ,,Macedonia". In the Greek state newspaper ,,Efimeriostis Kivemistos", issue 332 from November 21,1926 was published the law for obligatory change of the names of all of the villages and the towns, as well as the names of the rivers, mountains and regions. That way 588 towns and villages received names totally different from the Slav names that had existed for more than 12 centuries. The perfidious purpose of that action was the family memory to be razed to the ground.

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Old 08-04-2011, 03:18 AM   #3
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renaming of people &not able to hold passports under macedonian name.Speaking of macedonian not allowed.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:59 AM   #4
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Something needs to be done to that medieval greece hahaha. Since modern greek has partial "slavic" structure, I dont see what the problem is with something like the ABEDECAR?

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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I am willing to take part in a government in exile but it should be closer to Europe and Macedonia. Italy? Turkey? Some place untainted by regional dynamics, error and confusion of the issue.

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Old 04-14-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
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I'm glad that human rights violations such as these are recognized against Greece and others against other Balkan nations. While we recognize them as bad (which they very much are) they are no means as bad as the violations done by Western and Central European nations...similar nations which bloat about how much more liberal and civil they are than nations like the Balkans...oh the hypocrisy.

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