Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sexual Violence and the Triumph of Justice

За македонски, кликни ТУКА
Për shqip, kliko KËTU

Sexual Violence and the Triumph of Justice
Skopje: 20 November at 18:00 at the EU InfoCentre, Mito Hadživasilev Jasmin 52v
Tetovo: 21 November at 18:00 at the American Corner, House of Culture, bul. Iliria nn
Тhe Outreach Programme of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and its partner, Civil – Center for Freedom, organize the premiere of the documentary “Sexual Violence and the Triumph of Justice” in Skopje on November 20 (Tuesday) and in Tetovo on November 21 (Wednesday). Both events will begin at 18h.
This ICTY Outreach produced documentary depicts the Tribunal’s historic role in the prosecution of wartime sexual violence. It explores the investigation and adjudication of the pioneering cases that played a major role in developing jurisprudence on wartime sexual violence, and portrays the courage of the survivors of sexual violence who testified in the Tribunal’s trials. With the participation of ICTY judges and senior staff, both past and present, as well as assorted witness testimonies, the film will be a lasting reminder of the pioneering steps that the Tribunal has taken to punish those responsible and to bring these grave crimes to attention of the international community and the people of the region of the former Yugoslavia.
The public screening will be followed by expert panel discussion between Elena Martin Selgado, Legal Officer and Appeals Counsel at the ICTY’s Office of the Prosecutor; Gordana Duvnjak, Open Society Institute Macedonia Executive Board Chairperson; Uranija Pirovska, Executive Director of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Macedonia, Kim Mehmeti, writer and political analyst (Skopje) and Snezana Lupevska, journalist and producer (Tetovo).
You are kindly invited to a short reception afterwards.

For more information, please feel free to call or write to us.

+389 2 5209 176

Friday, August 17, 2012


Published in the dailies Dnevnik and Vest on August 17, 2012

The biggest evil in human history -- fascism -- has supporters in Macedonia, and as nowhere in the world it got its chance to promote their sick and horrible ideology in public media in Macedonia.
Publicizing of the commemoration ad in honor of Rudof Hess in the daily newspapers Dnevnik and Vest (parts of MPM Group) represents an unseen precedent in world’s history. We do not believe that anywhere in the world this kind of public announcement could occur.
We are shocked by praising one of the darkest figures in the history of humanity, the right hand of Hitler, the war criminal Rudolf Hess.
Short and clear: for this public announcement, those responsible should go to jail. We demand an immediate investigation and punishment of the authors and those responsible for publishing this horrendous promotion of fascism.

CIVIL- Center for Freedom

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Appeal to the civil society organizations
e are witnessing tectonic shifts in the political and social sphere in the country. Republic of Macedonia is in a state of continuous turmoil for some time now, which directly affects its development, the state of human rights and freedoms, democracy and rule of law, international and regional positioning of the country, as well as the everyday life of the citizens.
Participation of the civil society sector in the processes of essential importance for the presence and the future of the Republic of Macedonia is far from visible. By this, we do not claim that civil society organizations do not do enough, but fragmentation and non-coordination lead to short-term or no effects and low visibility of changes that civil society organizations stand for.
It is time to change that.
It is time for civil society organizations to raise their voice and show they are not to be bypassed, but to be respected as one of the greatest resources that this country has in these times.
It is time for civil society organizations to give up the formal seats in phony commissions and connect with the people.
It is time for civil society organizations to claim what they have achieved and make our work worth mentioning and remembering.
It is time to connect and work together on common issues for the benefit of all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
Let us overcome doubts and constraints, let us join forces and await for the coming period of even greater turmoil -- ready and as credible carriers of the interests and expectations of our fellow citizens.

Civil – Center for Freedom

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wake up and follow your dream!

Today, more than ever, we need dreamers. We need dreamers that have a shared dream of justice and humanity, freedom and equality, such as the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On the occasion of Martin Luther King’s Day (January 15), we call upon you to dedicate this weekend to your dreams and the dreams of your fellow citizens of the world. What can you do? Read the speech of Martin, spread the word, tell people that dreams may become reality, only if we share it and spread it amongst each other. Reality based on dreams like this is the reality of a humane world.
Don’t be afraid to dream about justice and freedom. Don’t be afraid to demand respect and fulfillment of your dreams. Demand, so they will come true.
Remember January 15, as the birthday of a great representative of the human kind, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and be a proud and demanding dreamer on this day and the days to come.
Wake up and follow your dream!

The Speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"