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Old 24-04-2018, 17:37   #1 (permalink) Top

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Default Panayote Dimitras facing High Treason charges for speaking about Macedonians August 7 2011

Panayote Dimitras facing High Treason charges for speaking about Macedonians
September 18 2008 at 12:14 PM
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SUBJECT: Panayote Dimitras facing High Treason charges for speaking about Macedonians
posted by P. Janevski

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Thornhill, Canada 1 min ago
Panayote Dimitras facing High Treason charges for speaking about Macedonians

Greece has an investigation against me, the charges are high treason, because I had spoken about the Macedonians in Greece, says Panayote Dimitras in an interview for BBC Macedonian.
Mr. Dimitras is a member of the Greek Helsinki Monitor.
I already met the prosecutor and gave my statement. If I end up in Court, the only possible sentence is jail for life. says Dimitras, a long time campaigner for minority rights in Greece.
This interview was done shortly after the visit of UN Independent minority expert Gay McDougall in Northern Greece. Mr. Dimitras accompanied McDougall on her visit.
Himself and other members of the Greek Helsinki Monitor informed McDougall on all questions regarding her mandate; on the Macedonian, Turkish, religious minorities, including the Roma population, problems with racism and anti-Semitism.

- The message to the UN expert was this: the conditions in Greece are dire, none of the minority groups are represented at any level. In fact, if and when any of these minorities have a complaint, they are frequently attacked by the Media and Government. Its not just the minorities. Organizations, such as ours that fights for equal rights and promotes rights are being attacked.
If I can use one sentence - Democracy in Greece, came in 1974, it is yet to come for the minorities, says Mr. Dimitras.

Can you describe McDougalls reaction after she heard the responses from Greek Helsinki Monitor?

- We are not allowed to speak of her reactions. The only thing I can say is, something that she said at a Press Conference in Athens, is that the recommendations and suggestions of the UN Committee, and the Greek Helsinki Monitor would be part of her report. And in those reports is easy to see that Greece negates the existence of Macedonian and Turkish people, as well as the catastrophic situation of our Roma population. I do not doubt for a second that McDougalls report would be much different than our official position i.e. there are people in Greece who identify themselves differently from the Greeks.

Do you think this visit would change something?

It is difficult to say. Because the European Council and the UN have both recommended Greece change its behavior, but Greece hasnt done a thing. In fact, its worse.
We dont change anything because we dont have to fear anything. There are no sanctions against Greece, except for the European Court for Human Rights where we have lost cases, cases that Greece ignores. In this country, if you speak about minorities, you are asking for trouble. This will stay the way it is, until Greece is faced with sanctions.

Do you personally have problems?

- Well, there is a case against me, for high treason because I spoke about the Macedonians. I met the prosecutor, gave my statement. I am facing life in prison if convicted. I am hoping my case wont get to that point, but I have to admit, this is not pleasant for me, at all. Vinozito (Rainbow) is facing similar actions, when a Radical Right Wing party in Parliament asked to press for high treason charges against them. Our Justice Minister accepted the case, is now being forwarded to the Prosecutor.//Interview translated from (Dnevnik)
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