The Front for freedom of expression reacts to the statements of the Minister of Information Society
Malicious destruction of civil society’s reputation
The Front for freedom of expression has no intention of participating in a debate when apparently the other side is unwilling to do so. However, we are using this opportunity to indicate that, in his interview for Utrinski vesnik (September 1, 2013) the Minister of Information Society demonstrates a serious lack of knowledge about the civil society concept.
He is also bluntly labeling and accusing the country’s NGOs of being deliberately negative towards the media laws, just so they could receive funding. This is completely untrue and we perceive it as a malicious destruction of civil society’s reputation. This behavior is an unpleasant surprise from the Minister of Information Society, along with the surprising ignorance for civil society in the Republic of Macedonia. Trying to stay positive and constructive, we will attribute this behavior to ignorance rather than arrogance and destructive political orientation.
We assure the Minister that, as an organization, we want, we can and we exist to provide a positive, constructive and competent contribution to the improvement of the situation in the field of human rights, democracy, rule of law, and thus the right to freedom of expression. This is the actual area where precisely the mentioned laws are destructive, regressive and completely unnecessary.
The Minister should take into consideration that it is a bit boring to constantly start from the beginning and deal with issues and problems that are usually present in undemocratic countries. Our colleagues in the region have already gone much further, and we as a civil society cannot be held accountable for the regression of course, as we do not have the instruments necessary to improve the situation. These instruments are available to the Government, and our role is in accordance with the Constitution and the Law, i.e. our role is to point out the irregularities and to contribute to the improvement of the current policies and societal conditions. But only if someone hears us.
The Front for Freedom of Expression (sloboda.kauza.mk) is a broad platform composed of individuals, organizations, institutions and informal groups that function as an informal network to preserve and promote the basic human right – freedom of expression. The Front is comprised of the following civil society organizations: Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Republic of Macedonia, Media Development Centre (MDC), Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society, CIVIL – Centre for Freedom, Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM), NGO Infocentre, Coalition ‘Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities’ – Skopje, Macedonian Centre for European Training (MCET), ‘Javnost’ Centre for New Policies and Freedom of the Media, ‘Jadro’ – Association of the Independent Culture Scene, and NGO Kontrapunkt.
The previous announcement of the Front for freedom of expression is available here.