The Austrian Embassy kindly invites you to the opening of the Art Exhibition by the Austrian painter “Karl Schnetzinger”.
The Art Exhibition will be opened by Ambassador Alois Kraut, the Minister for Culture, Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, and the Director of the National Gallery of Macedonia , Maja Krstevska.
Place: Gallery Mala Stanica
Date: 22nd Oktober 2008
Start: 8 p.m.
(Exclusively for the use of the media.
Not an official document)
The Hague, 10 July 2008
Boškoski Acquitted and Tarčulovski Sentenced to 12 Years’ Imprisonment
Trial Chamber II today sentenced Johan Tarčulovski to 12 years of imprisonment for crimes committed against ethnic Albanians in village of Ljuboten, near the Macedonian capital Skopje, on 12 August 2001. His co-accused, the former Macedonian Interior Minister, Ljube Boškoski, was acquitted of all charges.
The crimes alleged took place in Ljuboten between 12 and 15 August 2001 when a Macedonian police unit under Tarčulovski’s command entered the village, shooting and killing six unarmed ethnic Albanians, as well as severely mistreating 13 other residents. Ten of those were further beaten at a police checkpoint at the entrance to the village and later at the Mirkovci police station in Skopje, as a result of which one of the men died.
At least 12 houses in the village were set on fire and a large number of Albanian men fleeing from the village were subjected to cruel treatment by other police at a police checkpoint, and later at several other police stations in Skopje.
Boškoski was charged with command responsibility for failing to investigate the crimes and to ensure those responsible be punished. The Trial Chamber found that while evidence revealed “a serious failure of the functioning of the police and the responsible Macedonian authorities at that time, it has not been established that Ljube Boškoski failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures for the punishment of the police”.
The Trial Chamber also found that two reports were made on the evening of 12 August by police of the Interior Ministry to the investigating judicial authority and to the public prosecutor. “Ljube Boškoski had no authority or powers in respect … of the investigative judge and the public prosecutor, who were not within the Ministry of Interior,” Judge Kevin Parker, Presiding, said.
The Trial Chamber found that Tarčulovski, on the other hand, had a direct role in the incident and found him guilty for ordering, planning and instigating the crimes committed in Ljuboten. In particular he was found guilty of the murder of Rami Jusufi, Sulejman Bajrami and Muharem Ramadani, ordering planning and instigating the destruction of property of the 12 ethnic Albanian residents, as well as the cruel treatment of 13 Albanians at Adem Ametovski’s house and of ten others at Braca’s house.
However, the Chamber found that Tarčulovski was himself acting under orders during the operation. “The evidence does not enable the person or persons responsible for the orders to Johan Tarčulovski to be identified. The circumstances confirm it was a person or persons superior to him,” Judge Parker said.
Boškoski will be released from the detention unit upon completion of relevant procedures while Tarčulovski will remain in the Tribunal’s custody before transferal to the state where the sentence will be enforced.
This is the only case related to the Macedonian conflict heard by the ICTY. Since its inception 15 years ago the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 114 individuals have been completed.
The full text of the summary of the judgment can be found at the following links:
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal’s website at
U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE
TO VISIT MACEDONIA
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, will visit Macedonia on June 27, 2008. During her visit she will meet with top state officials and governing and opposition party leadership. Together they will discuss recent domestic and international political developments, including U.S. – Macedonian relations, the parliamentary elections in Macedonia , coalition talks, Kosovo issues, and Macedonia ’s NATO prospects.
June 22, 2008
U.S. Government Provides Training for Macedonian Border Police
Six officers from the United States Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will visit Struga June 23-27, 2008, to train Macedonian Border Police Officers in methods used to track persons suspected of smuggling contraband. To complement the training the U.S. Department of Defense will donate $40,000 worth of technical equipment that the Border Police can use to further secure the Macedonian border. This project follows earlier training in 2007 and is part of the U.S. Embassy support for Macedonia ’s efforts to ensure that its borders are secure against the illegal movement of goods and people.
The three Customs Border Protection officers are Native Americans (Indians) who work at the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in Arizona . This specialized unit is know as the “Shadow Wolves,” and the officers have developed a reputation for their skillful use of Native American human tracking techniques as a tool for law enforcement and border security.
Currently, the 13 members of the Shadow Wolves come from the following Indian tribes: Tohono O’odham; Navajo; Sioux; Kiowa; Lakota; Yurok; and Blackfeet. In addition to their normal duties of tracking and arresting narcotics smugglers in the Arizona desert, they have trained border officers in several Asian and eastern European countries including, Armenia , Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan , Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania , Macedonia , Moldova and Poland .
Additionally, during this week the U.S. Department of Defense will donate to the Macedonian Fire Brigade and Customs $41,400 worth of tools and safety equipment, including more than 150 firefighter protective suits.
Statement on the Election Reruns
From the EUSR and EC Head of Delegation and the United States Ambassador
We met today with Ali Ahmeti and Menduh Thaci to discuss the upcoming election re-runs on June 15. We stressed that Sunday is their chance, and that of their supporters, to repair the damage done by the first round of elections and to contribute to this country's ability to prove it can conduct elections that meet international standards. Together with government institutions, it is their chance to restore the confidence of the citizens.
We asked the two party leaders to support government efforts to ensure free, fair, and peaceful voting on June 15, and to instruct their employees and contractors, their members and their supporters to avoid engaging in intimidation, fraud, and any other actions that could mar the voting. We specifically requested that access to polling stations remain open to all who wish to vote and highlighted the need to keep non-voters from gathering within the area around the polls protected by law. Both leaders assured us of their commitment to a free, fair and peaceful electoral process on June 15, and pledged their support in ensuring that outcome.
Furthermore, in response to our joint calls for party leaders to send the right political messages to their party followers concerning their conduct and behavior on Sunday 15 June, both leaders confirmed their intention to call on their party activists to refrain from acts of violence and intimidation at polling stations.
We expect both of them to honor their word.
June 12, 2008
Statement from the US Embassy about the Election Reruns
On Sunday, June 15, Macedonia has another opportunity to demonstrate it can conduct elections that meet international standards. The United States Government wants Macedonia to succeed in holding free, fair, and peaceful reruns which will help make the case for continued progress toward NATO and EU membership.
We call on government leaders, party leaders, and citizens to ensure there is no repeat of the violence, intimidation and electoral fraud that marred the voting on June 1.
We expect state authorities to take all necessary measures so that citizens can cast their votes in a secure and democratic atmosphere. Those measures should include a robust police presence, new LEB and MEC members in municipalities where fraud was detected, and prompt and effective SEC and police response to reports of irregularities during the day of the re-runs. We will join other domestic and international monitoring efforts to observe and assess the effectiveness of government efforts to this end.
Though the primary responsibility for conducting free and fair elections falls squarely on the government, we also expect party leaders to do all that is in their power to ensure free and peaceful voting. That includes directing their supporters to provide free access to polling stations, and strongly condemning the use of violence, intimidation, or other methods to inhibit or otherwise influence voters. Party leaders also have a responsibility, by word and action, to reduce tensions, avoid provocations and calm the fears of the voters.
May 27, 2008
U.S. Embassy Condemns Theft of Transmitting Equipment
We join the other members of the international community in strongly condemning the theft of transmitting equipment from broadcasters Alsat М and ART. The timing of this egregious crime can only be seen as an attempt to silence an important voice in the media at a critical time and to deny citizens of Macedonia information about the upcoming elections. The authorities must act quickly and decisively to investigate this crime and prosecute thоse responsible.
Norman E. Borlaug
International Agriculture Science and Technology Fellows Program Conference
On May 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will host the first conference in Macedonia of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. This program helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing short-term (four to eight weeks) scientific training and collaborative research opportunities to visiting researchers, policymakers and university faculty while they work with a mentor at U.S. universities and research institutions.
Eight Macedonian agricultural scientists and researchers were chosen to be Norman E. Borlaug Fellows and conducted research at U.S. universities during the past year, the first year Macedonia has participated in this prestigious program.
U.S. Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic will open the conference. During the conference, the Macedonian Borlaug Fellows will present the research they conducted in the U.S.
The Borlaug Fellowship Program was launched in March 2004 in honor of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who has often been hailed as the father of the Green Revolution. Dr. Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his success in developing high-yielding wheat varieties and reversing severe food shortages that haunted India and Pakistan in the 1960's. Credited with saving millions of lives, his work virtually eliminated recurring famines in South Asia and helped global food production outpace population growth.
All media are invited to cover the opening of the conference on May 21 at 09:30 at the Holiday Inn. For more information please contact the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy on tel.: 3116-180, ext. 2178.
May 19, 2008
Statement of The United States Embassy
All attempts to suggest that the United States favors or supports any party or coalition are unwelcome and wholly untrue. The United States does not call on citizens to vote for specific candidates or parties.
As we have said in the recent past, any U.S. citizens who may be assisting a party or candidate in these elections are doing so in a personal capacity without any connection or special access to the United States Government. Such advisors or contractors are not sent by the U.S. Government, do not represent the United States, and their involvement in any campaign does not in any way represent a United States Government endorsement of that party or candidate. The only thing we support unequivocally is a free and fair election process in which every citizen is able without intimidation to vote for the party of his or her free choice. Only such elections will help Macedonia achieve its Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations.
May 19, 2008
U.S. Embassy and Macedonian NGOs Host
Renowned Breast Cancer Surgeon
The U.S. Embassy in Skopje , in cooperation with Macedonian NGOs “Borka” and “Women’s Lobby Group,” are pleased to announce a public presentation by Dr. Balasz “Ernie” Bodai, a renowned breast cancer surgeon, who has undertaken a global journey to raise breast cancer awareness along with raising funds for his Breast Cancer Stamp initiative. Public awareness activists, health care professionals and the general public are welcome to attend this presentation.
Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Location: Army Hall
Ernie Bodai, born in Budapest in 1951, who came to the U.S. with his parents as a small boy in 1956, has passionately devoted his life to fight and conquer breast health challenges. Today, he is a renowned breast cancer surgeon in California . Currently he is director of the comprehensive Breast Health Center at the Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento , California , a health care organization where Dr. Bodai has treated thousands of women. In the second half of the 90s when writing a lecture, an idea came to him about a special-edition postage stamp to raise funds. The idea came true in 1998 when the United States Postal Office issued a breast cancer stamp. Since then, over $65 million has been raised. It has gone directly to cancer research institutions. He’s now taken his postal campaign on what he has termed “the Global Journey,” working to introduce the stamp in countries all over the world. And his initiative has been successful thus far: To date, 86 countries have formally indicated their interest in issuing such a stamp. Hungary , Belize , Nicaragua , and the Philippines have also issued the stamp, and Israel will do so in May, 2008. In Hungary alone, the stamp has raised, to date, about $100,000 for cancer research in that country -- money that would not have been raised otherwise without the stamp. Dr. Bodai has also written over 250 medical articles, he is author of five books, and he is the inventor of several medical devices.