Torture in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                          

Republic of Macedonia

Macedonia has maintained macroeconomic stability with low inflation, but it has so far lagged the region in attracting foreign investment and creating jobs, despite making extensive fiscal and business sector reforms. Official unemployment remains high at nearly 35%, but may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be more than 20% of GDP, that is not captured by official statistics.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Macedonia

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Macedonia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 3 March 2014]


Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by police officials continued, including of two men detained after the Smilkovci lake murder. In May, the Ombudsperson, as the National Protection Mechanism, reported that conditions in police stations in 2011 were below minimum standards – especially for juveniles – and detainees rarely had access to a lawyer or doctor. Juveniles were held in solitary confinement in inhuman and “utterly degrading” conditions. In December, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture reported that the authorities had made little progress in implementing previous recommendations, particularly in Idrizovo Prison, where ill-treatment by staff, inter-prisoner intimidation/violence and “totally unsatisfactory conditions” for prisoners persisted.


In December, the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that Macedonia was responsible for the violations suffered by Khaled el-Masri, a German resident who was apprehended in 2003 by the Macedonian authorities, held incommunicado in Macedonia for 23 days, and subsequently transferred to the custody of US authorities and flown to Afghanistan. The Court ruled that Macedonia was liable for Khaled el-Masri’s unlawful detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment, for his transfer out of Macedonia to locations where he suffered other serious human rights violations, and for the failure to carry out an effective investigation. It was the first time the Court had ruled on the case of a victim of the US-led rendition programme.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/MKD/CO/2 (2008)

[accessed 3 March 2013]

16. The Committee is concerned about allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment committed by law enforcement personnel and notes with concern a lack of prompt and effective investigations and prosecutions in this respect (see also paragraph 5 above).  In particular, the Committee is concerned at allegations reporting that the most serious abuses would be committed by a special unit of the police named “Alfi”, mandated to counter urban crimes and work in plain clothes.  In this respect, the Committee takes note of the information received by the delegation that the “Alfi” unit is going to terminate its activities soon.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 5 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, police at times used excessive force during the apprehension of criminal suspects and sometimes abused prisoners.

On June 30, according to one NGO, a Romani man was called into the Kicevo police station for questioning after persons under interrogation there accused him of participating in an altercation. The man alleged that the police then beat him, a Romani friend who came to his assistance, and a third Romani man who was also being questioned. The men filed charges on July 6, but the public prosecutor had not acted on them by year's end.

The ombudsman and public prosecutor continued to review the cases of two ethnic Albanians arrested and allegedly beaten by police near Stenkovec in October 2004. The suspects were charged with attempted murder of a taxi driver and illegal possession of firearms. The PSU investigation, conducted in cooperation with the European Union's (EU) Proxima police mission and completed in 2004, did not confirm the abuse allegations. The officers involved received additional training on the appropriate use of force.

In April Ministry of Interior officials and international observers completed an investigation of allegation that security and counterintelligence officers in Kumanovo unlawfully detained and severely mistreated Avni Ajeti, who was convicted of mining the Skopje-Belgrade railroad and placing a bomb in the Kumanovo central square. The observers noted serious irregularities in authorities' handling of the case, including officers' failure to record Ajeti's detention or to obtain legal authority for detaining him longer than twenty-four hours. The observers further noted that these administrative failures prevented them from confirming or refuting the allegations against the counterintelligence officers.

An interior ministry investigation monitored by international observers into allegations that Selam Selami was illegally detained and abused by counterintelligence officers in 2002 ended in April without determining the exact circumstances of his detention. International monitors noted that the counterintelligence agency's inability to produce records relative to the case made it impossible to establish the cause of severe medical problems experienced by Selami while being held by the officers. Selami had been detained in connection with the shooting of two ethnic Macedonian police officers; charges against him were dropped the following year.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 3   Civil Liberties: 3   Status: Partly Free

2009 Editiion

[accessed 5 February 2013]

According to a November 2008 EU progress report, the judiciary has made some progress in strengthening its independence and efficiency over the past year. Nevertheless, serious problems with corruption remain. Amnesty International in 2008 accused Macedonian officials of complicity in the extralegal detention, torture, and extradition to Afghanistan of a Lebanese-born German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. International watchdog groups have on a number of occasions charged Macedonian police with ill-treatment and torture of prisoners. The Council of Europe has expressed deep concern about prison facilities in the country, while noting that some improvements have been made in recent years.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Macedonia",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Macedonia]  [other countries]