EN (Roma) Macedonia CG  UKIAT 04488
Date of hearing: 23 August 2002
Date Determination notified: 30 September 2002
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
"In addition he has also noted or claimed to be of Roma ethnicity and to have suffered discrimination and harassment because of this. The Secretary of State has no reason to doubt your ethnicity."
"According to the 1994 Census, Roma comprised 2% of the population but Romany leaders claimed that the actual number of Roma is much higher. There were credible reports of occasional police violence and harassment against Roma. Roma rights organisations accused the police of reinforcing patterns of discrimination by consistently siding with ethnic Macedonian citizens in disputes involving Rom. Optional Romany language education has been offered at several primary schools since 1996 but there has been limited demand and no pressure for more extensive curriculum. There is some Romani language broadcasting. There were incidents of societal violence against Roma during the year. In 1999 approximately 6,000 Roma fled Kosovo and took up residence in the country in response to both the Kosovo conflict and the hostility of ethnic Albanian Kosovars who widely considered the Roma to have supported the Serbs and to have committed theft and other crimes against ethnic Albanians during the crisis. The presence of these Romany refugee was not popular among Macedonia's ethnic Albanians who largely shared the view of the Albanian Kosovars concerning both Roma and Serbs. Ethnic Macedonians also expressed irritation of the new arrivals many of whom, settled in Skopje and some of them frequently frequented busy traffic into sections to beg, wash cars windows or sell small items. The Roma tend to occupy the lowest economic position of society and the new arrivals added to the number of Roma in the ranks of the very poor."
"In addition, he is aware that the constitution provides freedom of association and that the government generally respects this right in practice. Political parties and organisations are required to register with the Court. More than 40 political parties are registered including ethnically based parties of Albanians, Turks, Serbs and Roma. Moreover, the Roma party has members in the parliament. The Ruling government coalition includes one of the two major ethnic Albanian parties as well as the Romani party."
He goes on at paragraph 10 as follows:
"The Secretary of State accepts in common with other countries in the region popular feeling against Roma does exist in Macedonia and they do encounter discrimination from elements within Macedonian society. Although he is aware that the police have not always intervened often or as effectively as they should, the Secretary of State satisfied that there is no evidence that this attitude is endemic or condoned by the authorities generally. In the light of this he remains of the opinion that it would not be established or life would be at risk if he were now to return to Macedonia. He does not accept you have a well-founded fear of persecution in Macedonia for a Convention reason."