The Macedonians of Greece
Although ethnic Macedonians in northern Greece make up a large minority with their own language and culture, their internationally-recognized human rights and even their existence are vigorously denied by the Greek government. Free expression is restricted; several Macedonians have been prosecuted and convicted for the peaceful expression of their views. Moreover, ethnic Macedonians are discriminated against by the government’s failure to permit the teaching of the Macedonian language. And ethnic Macedonians, particularly rights activists, are harassed by the government — followed and threatened by security forces — and subjected to economic and social pressures resulting from this harassment. All of these actions have led to a marked climate of fear in which a large number of ethnic Macedonians are reluctant to assert their Macedonian identity or to express their views openly. Ethnic Macedonian political refugees who fled northern Greece after the Greek Civil War of 1946-49, as well as their descendants who identify themselves as Macedonians, are denied permission to regain their citizenship, to resettle in, or even to visit northern Greece. By contrast, all of these are possible for political refugees who define themselves as Greeks. Greek courts have denied permission to establish a “Center for Macedonian Culture.” Ultimately, the government is pursuing every avenue to deny the Macedonians of Greece their ethnic identity.
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The book was published by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki in 1994.