In Macedonia, Roma not allowed to join minority police training
07 November 2001
According to the Skopje daily Dnevnik of October 30, 2001, on the previous day, fifteen Romani candidates blocked the entry gate to the Idrizovo police training center after American training instructors refused them entry to, and participation in, the training for police candidates from minority communities. The daily quoted the Romani candidates as stating that they had registered and passed the selection process, however they missed the initial week of training as they were not informed in time of the commencement of the training. The American instructors, in return, did not allow the Romani candidates to attend the classes, with the explanation that the course had already begun. Ethnic Albanian candidates reportedly entered the training after two weeks on strike. The Roma interviewed by Dnevnik also argued that the Framework Agreement includes an "agreed framework for securing the future of Macedonia's democracy and permitting the development of closer and more integrated relations between the Republic of Macedonia and the Euro-Atlantic community [...that will] promote the peaceful and harmonious development of civil society while respecting the ethnic identity and the interests of all Macedonian citizens", adopted by the Macedonian government on August 13, 2001, and envisages participation of all minority representatives. They claimed that the attitude of the foreign instructors was discriminatory. Mr Amdi Bajram, the only Romani member of the Macedonian parliament, joined the protesters. According to Macedonian Romani organisations Drom from Kumanovo and Association for Human Rights Protection of Roma from Stip, the Romani protesters were included in the training on the evening of the same day following the protest.
(Association for Human Rights Protection of Roma, Dnevnik, Drom)