Sunday, 17 October 2021 | News today: 0

Hunger strike in Macedonia’s largest prison – detainees worry the amnesty will be for members of Parliament only


Prisoners in Idrizovo, the largest prison in Macedonia, have entered into a hunger strike, demanding that they too are covered by the proposed amnesty bill. Media outlets report that about 500 people are on strike, while Idrizovo warden acknowledged that over 300 are refusing their food.

– This is a two days long hunger strike, which we initiate as a warning sign because despite all promises from the Prime Minister we are left out of the amnesty law. We demand broad amnesty for all crimes and a reduction in all life sentences. If we don’t receive a positive response from the Government in the next two days, we will continue with our hunger strike and our families will begin protests in front of the Government building, said prisoner Bobi Mojsoski in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Zaev.

Zaev’s Government is in talks with the eight members of Parliament who initially supported amending the Constitution and renaming the country for an amnesty law. Most of these members of Parliament who were expelled from the VMRO-DPMNE party are charged in politically motivated criminal cases, either directly or through family members or close associates.

Because of that, “common” prisoners fear that the amnesty bill will only cover the members of Parliament whose votes are needed to pass the amendments to rename Macedonia, and that the ordinary detainees will be left out of the law. Zaev already passed an amnesty law in January, which released 815 prisoners while 3.000 received reduced sentences.