C'è chi ritiene la recente approvazione della legge sull'amnistia in Macedonia una pericolosa crepa nello stato di diritto. Altri, e tra questi il leader politico dell'ex UCK, Ali Ahmeti, un'opportunità per aumentare la mutua fiducia tra le due comunità.
Il 7 marzo scorso il Parlamento macedone ha approvato una legge di amnistia per gli ex guerriglieri albanesi dell'Uck con 64 voti a favore, 12 contro e 8 astenuti. La legge di amnistia era uno dei punti cruciali dell' accordo di pace firmato il 13 agosto dello scorso anno rimasto fino ad oggi inapplicato. Qualche giorno dopo la autorità macedoni hanno iniziato a liberare i prigionieri albanesi accusati di reati legati alle attività del disciolto Esercito di liberazione nazionale (Uck).
L'approvazione della legge sull'amnistia è avvenuta alla vigilia della conferenza per i donatori che si è svolta il 12 marzo a Bruxelles e che era rimasta "congelata" in attesa della piena applicazione del piano di pace sottoscritto tra le parti ad Ohrid.
Il corrispondente dell'Osservatorio sui Balcani da Skopje, Dejan Georgjievski, in questo suo articolo ci fornisce un quadro delle reazioni dei media macedoni all'approvazione della legge sull'amnistia. Il testo è in inglese.
On late Thursday evening (March 7, 2002), the Parliamentary debate on the draft-Law on Amnesty ended after only several hours of debate, in spite of the expectations that Macedonian Members of Parliament will put up a fight and submit a flood of amendments to the text. As "Utrinski Vesnik" reported in its issue of Saturday, March 9, Macedonia got "An Amnesty According to the Government Version." Only two amendments were submitted, one by the SDSM which wanted to exclude from the Amnesty the "citizens of foreign countries, regardless of whether they own property in Macedonia," (which is the case with many citizens of Kosovo) and that would also restrict the period of time covered by the Amnesty to the events of 2001. Another amendment, rather "cynical" as noted by the A1 TV News on Friday, submitted by the VMRO-Vistinska (one of the parties that split from the VMRO-DPMNE), demanded that the Law is officially named "The Law on Amnesty and Amnesia," noting that the Macedonians will find it difficult to forget all that happened last year.
At the vote, the Law tallied 64 votes for, 12 against, and 8 MPs abstained from voting. As the papers and electronic media noted, VMRO-DPMNE, which was the loudest in its attacks of the Law prior to its entry into Parliament, succumbed to the pressure by the Prime Minister who urged them to vote for the Law, since "it is the best guarantee for peace in Macedonia and it may help Macedonia regain control of its territory." They voted against the amendments submitted by the SDSM.
The media, both electronic and print, noted that the Macedonian TV (the state public broadcaster) stopped the live broadcasts immediately before the vote, citing reasons like "interference in the frequencies used by the MTV.
Several prominent lawyers and law professors also gave their view on the newly adopted Law.
"The adoption of the Amnesty Law is a disgrace. It marks the end of the rule of the law in the state. If I were in the shoes of the President Trajkovski or Prime Minister Georgievski, I would have submitted an irrevocable resignation because the Law, with all of its bad provisions and legal solutions was adopted under great pressure from outside," said Vlado Kambovski, Law professor who himself submitted a proposal for the Amnesty Law that earned the approval of all legal scholars from Macedonia, but the proposal was rejected.
"The Law has no clear criteria on which persons shall be covered and what period of time will be covered. That will cause serious problems in its implementation. Every person charged with a crime may claim that he is NLA member, or that his crime was committed in relation with the conflict. How will the authorities determine that? By NLA issued certificate?... The Law, which was adopted under foreign pressure, is clearly a political decision that undermines the legal system of the state," said Zoran Sulejmanov, the head of the Center for Criminal Law and Criminal Policies of the Institute for Political, Juridical, and Social Research.
Other legal experts expressed similar views and positions in the media.
Tito Petkovski, MP of the opposition SDSM, wrote the following in his op-ed article in "Utrinski Vesnik" of Saturday, March 9:
"This Law opens a new page in the history of contemporary Macedonia. Macedonia decided, in the interest of peace, to demonstrate leniency and mercy towards those that, for all practical matter, caused its regress back into the world of 40 years ago, and listed Macedonia in the ranks of the uncivilized and primitive states and nations... The Law on Amnesty legalized the following: that there was not a war in Macedonia last year, since no one actually proclaimed a war, and state of war was not officially introduced. The dead and the ethnically cleanced were nothing but collateral damage."
Katerina Blazevska, Editor in "Dnevnik" daily, wrote the following in her lead editorial on the same day, entitled "Is this really the end?":
"The law will be entered into force expressly, and (Ali) Ahmeti will be able to take a walk in Skopje even before the citizens knew the Law was adopted in the Parliament. The signatories of the Ohrid Agreement, however, failed to send a message to their constituencies that starting tomorrow all problems have to stop. If Commander Leka is able to drink tea in Tetovo, then the police shall not be stopped from entering Mala Rechica or wherever. The right also invoke obligations which have to be fulfilled unconditionally."
Goran Mihajlovski, the Editor-in-Chief of "VEST" daily, addressed the manner in which the Law was adopted in his satirical weekly column:
"It is dark in Macedonia. The night is the best day we have. Therefore, all important things in this country are adopted by night. It is not as we were saying that the Law on Amnesty is more important than the Constitutional changes, but both affairs were completed by the MPs in the wee bit hours of the night... To make sure that we, the small time patriots, could miss them casting their votes, they turned off the TV cameras. They needed that to create total darkness. God forbid that we would claim that the Parliament is filled with vampires. They are simply more useful at night. Wasn't it that the Prime Minister and Ljube the Minister of Interior explained to the VMRO-DPMNE MPs that they should be constructive? Well, they immediately forgot all that they said about the Amnesty Law and voted it in. In a word, they were constructive, unlike during daytime, when they are presumably destructive."
Albanian language media primarily directed their editorials and comments at the actual implementation of the Law. However, in a longer analysis article titled "The Awaited Law, At Last," "Lobi" weekly magazine printed a statement by Ali Ahmeti, who said: "The approval of the Amnesty Law in the Macedonian Parliament creates comfortable circumstances towards the stability... This was accomplished and I believe this is a good step towards the peace and stability. The only thing remaining is the law to be respected by the state institutions, and not to be abused, because it's a good chance for mutual confidence of the two communities."
The Albanian journalists did, however, point in their editorials to the fact that the judicial institutions did everything in their power to undermine the ordered "immediate application of the Law." "Fakti" daily, in an editorial titled "Those who judge in the name of the Law, do not respect the Law" wrote on March 14, 2002: "If justice was truly respected, the statement by the Justice Minister would have great importance and would be complied with immediately. But the opposite is happening, and things are becoming complicated for no reason. Moreover, this decision by the Penal Council of the Skopje District Court could gain a political connotation... The institutions of the state, in this case the legal bodies, rather than contributing to speeding up this process, have created a completely different situation. The revolt of the population expressed through blocking of the roads near their villages surfaces once again. The judges who made these decision (to not release some of the people covered by the Amnesty Law because those are acts interesting for the ICTY, ed. note) must have faith that the ICTY will deal with those responsible."
"Fakti" also accused the Macedonian media of not disclosing another significant dimension of the Amnesty Law, the fact that Article 63 of the Law also provides for the deserted members of the Macedonian Security forces to be amnestied. (I would like to add that it is not entirely correct, since at the last count, A1 TV, Telma TV, "Utrinski Vesnik" and "Vest" dailies have informed of that). The editorial titled "Albanians are not the only ones to be amnestied" writes: "The Macedonian media have created the impression that the law only grants amnesty to former members of the NLA, never stressing that, at the same time, the Law grants amnesty to all those Macedonians who refused to fight in the Macedonian security forces during last year's conflict. This issue has also been addressed by the Amnesty Law, but the Macedonian public has not been informed about it. The reason for this requires no further comment."
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