PARTIALLY RESPECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
Macedonian government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas, says the State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008.
The Report says rule of law problems were seen in judicial and police procedures, including criminal detentions.
Enactment of judicial reforms continued to be delayed, and political pressure and intimidation hindered the effectiveness of the judiciary. Harsh government criticism of media coverage viewed as "antipatriotic" negatively impacted freedom of the press.
Tensions between the ethnic Macedonian and Albanian populations continued to impact areas including education, employment, and political participation.
As regards the Macedonian minority in the neighbouring countries, the Country Report on Greece notes that the Greek government did not recognize the existence of a Slavic dialect, called "Macedonian" by its speakers, spoken in the northwestern area of the country. A small number of Slavic speakers insisted on self-identifying as "Macedonian," a designation that generated strong opposition from other Greeks. These Slavic speakers claimed that the government pursued a policy designed to discourage the use of their language. Government officials and the courts denied requests by Slavic groups to identify themselves using the term "Macedonian," stating that approximately 2.2 million ethnic Greek citizens also use the term "Macedonian" to identify themselves.
Country Report on Bulgaria notes that Macedonian minority faced problems related to registration of OMO Ilinden party.