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The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM): fear of return: Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo province of Serbia

, رقم الوثيقة: EUR 65/001/1993

There is concern at recent reports that police in the FYRM have been carrying out systematic round-ups of ethnic Albanians, who are apparently thought to come from Kosovo province of Serbia in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The round-ups have occurred in and around the town of Tetovo, but it is likely that similar actions are occurring in other areas. Those involved appear to be mainly young men of military age, many of whom may have fled to the FYRM to avoid military service. There is concern that if they are returned they will be at risk of ill-treatment, torture or other violations.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 65/01/93
Distr: UA/SC
Please bring this to the attention of the refugee coordinator in your section
UA 299/93 Fear of return 1 September 1993
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA:
Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo province of Serbia
Amnesty International is concerned by recent reports that police in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) have been carrying out systematic
round-ups of ethnic Albanians whom they apparently believe come from Kosovo
province of Serbia and are citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
The round-ups have been occurring in and around the town of Tetovo in the west
of the republic, although it is likely that similar actions are occurring in
other areas. Some of these men have reportedly already been returned to the
FRY. The people involved appear to be mainly young men of military age, many
of whom may have fled to the FYRM to avoid military service in the FRY.
Amnesty International has documented frequent abuses of human rights in Kosovo
province of Serbia and continues to receive almost daily reports of
ill-treatment of ethnic Albanians, particularly beatings, by police in the
province, and sometimes of more serious incidents. The organisation is concerned
that ethnic Albanians returned from the FYRM will be at risk of ill-treatment,
torture or other human rights' violations in Kosovo province or other parts
of the FRY.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The FYRM itself has a large ethnic Albanian minority. Many have family ties
with ethnic Albanians in the neighbouring Kosovo province of Serbia. Even before
the international recognition of the FRYM in April 1993, increasing numbers
of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo have sought protection in the FYRM fearing
that they would be at risk of human rights violations in Kosovo province or
Serbia. In addition, many ethnic Albanians, originating from Kosovo, have been
living and/or working in Macedonia for some years before its independence but,
if they were to be returned now because of their irregular status in the FYRM,
would be similarly at risk.
Since the outbreak of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina the FYR Macedonia has provided
temporary protection to around 30,000 refugees from that republic.
Under the principle of non-refoulement, states are obliged not to forcibly
send any person to a country where she or he would be at risk of serious human
rights violations. This principle is recognized by the international community
as a norm of customary international law which is binding on all states.
International standards recognize that governments face considerable practical
and administrative problems when large numbers of asylum-seekers arrive within
a short time in search of protection. But those standards also underline that
in all cases the fundamental principle of non-refoulement -- including
non-rejection at the border -- must be scrupulously observed. Accordingly,
under no circumstances should any ethnic Albanian be expelled to Kosovo without
each individual's case, and his or her reasons for not wishing to return there,
being given a full and thorough examination, taking full account of the current
human rights situation in Kosovo.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English, German or French or in your own language:
- expressing concern by recent reports that ethnic Albanians have been rounded
up and forcibly returned by the authorities of the FYRM to Kosovo;
- stressing the obligations of the Government of the FYRM under international
law not to forcibly return people to countries where they risk serious Human
rights violations;
- calling on the authorities in the FYRM, accordingly, not to send any ethnic
Albanian against their will to Kosovo without a full and fair examination,
in the light of the prevailing situation in Kosovo, of each individual's reasons
for seeking protection and the risks he or she may face on return;
- calling on the authorities in the FYRM to ensure that, in any case where
such an examination indicates that the person concerned would be at such risk
in Kosovo, he or she should not be returned.
APPEALS TO
1) President of the Republic
Kiril Gligorov
Pretsedatel na Republika Makedonija
11 Oktomvri bb
91000 Skopje
FYR Macedonia
Telegrams: President of The FYR of Macedonia, Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Faxes: +38 91 222 611
Salutation: Dear President
2) Minister of Internal Affairs
Dr Ljubomir Fr_kovski
Republi_ko ministarstvo za vnatrešni raboti
Milicionersko igralište bb
91000 Skopje
FYR Macedonia
Telegrams: Minister of Internal Affairs, Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Telexes: 51 426 rsvrma yu
Faxes: +38 91 227 630
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Stevo Crvenkovski
Ministarstvo za odnosi so stranstvo
Maxim Gorki 18 (Dame Gruev 4)
91000 Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Telegrams: Minister for foreign affairs, Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Faxes: +38 91 239 540
Salutation: Dear Minister
and to diplomatic representatives of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
accredited to your country where they exist; please do not address
representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 13 October 1993.

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