The news portal Plusinfo.mk published the following article under the title “Civic Activists Under Threat, the Police Remains Passive” on March 3, 2015.
Civic activist Vladimir Hristovski from Veles received threats after the last protest in front of the Constitutional Court. After the protest, other activists also reported that the private security guards hired by the Court threatened them at the site.
“The day before yesterday I received two phone calls from a hidden number. They threatened me that unless I withdraw, things will become very bad. I told them I am not afraid, and they then said that they know that I am not afraid, but asked whether my mother is afraid. After that, in the morning I found a threatening message in front of my door,” the activist said.
On the peace of paper, a message written in a Veles dialect states that it’s a last warning before receiving a red card. Vladimir reported the case to Macedonian Helsinki Committee, and also went to the Veles police station and informed them about what happened, but they did not act as if they understood the seriousness of the situation. They told him that if there are new threats, he should report them by submitting evidence.
“How can I find out who threatens me and find evidence, isn’t that the job of the police?” – Hristovski asked.
He thinks that all this has happened because he held a speech at the protest in front of the Constitutional Court on February 29. He used to be a member of VMRO-DPMNE until a year ago, when he left the party and started criticizing the government.
The case with the young activist from Veles is not an isolated occurrence. Recently, social network users labeled the activist Vladimir Vangelov from Skopje as “Sorosoid bastard,” insinuating that he was one of the attackers who allegedly beat up Todor Petrov, and that in such a way “the Sorosoids create ethnic tensions.” Vangelov immediately reacted to this Facebook post:
“I reported the post to the Beko police station in the center of Skopje. I talked to inspectors from the Computer Crime Department. They told me that this does not fall under computer crime and there is no ground for the Ministry of Interior to press charges. One can also complain to a police station which has jurisdiction over the case,” Vangelov explained.
According to him, such attacks against civic activists, journalists and other citizens are planned from one center in order to incite incidents in situations of high tension. Publishing the false allegations about his involvement is also tendentious at a time when there’s no credible information about what actually happened in regard to the assault on Todor Petrov. The post leaves an impression of call for lynching a person who has been designated as “traitor, a freak, a mercenary” by the “black propaganda” of the government. Vangelov submitted a complaint to the Commission for Protection from Discrimination, also.
The activist Kiril Mickovski, who during the previous year was subject of constant harassment by pro-government media, said that after they would publish an article about him, he would be subjected to cyber-bullying. However he never reported those cases to the police. He said that the threats did not shake his resolve and that he will continue protesting, because they increased his determination to critique the bad policies.