Once again threats in the public discourse, once again via the social media. Threats which clearly show to whom they are intended and the type of violence they are trying to instigate: “The Embassy was once burning. The ambassador shit his pants in the doomsday shelter. (…) They were lucky then, they saved their asses. This time (…) you will go to the Happy hunting grounds”, “no foe will come out alive” (verse from a Macedonian patriotic song), “Hey dude, governor, be careful so Benghazi won’t happen to you’, “Jessy, Jessy… may Benghazi happen to you”, “The public is losing its patience – the Embassy was once burning, the ambassador had a narrow escape, this time he won’t”. And the competent are mute – again
Author: Ana Anastasovska
After the interview of the US ambassador Jess Baily for the “Utrinski vesnik” daily, in which he states that there must be responsibility for the wiretapped materials, because if not, this country would remain stuck in the political crisis, the host of a show on the national TV station “Kanal 5”, Milenko Nedelkovski, gave a public threat using his Facebook profile saying that the US Embassy in Skopje will be burning again as well as that “this time (…) you will go to the Happy hunting grounds”, adding “no foe will come out alive”.
“NO FOE WILL COME OUT ALIVE”
Threating ”everyone who wants to collapse the country”, he posted a video of the Macedonian patriotic song “No foe will come out alive”. In another post of his that includes a photo of the US ambassador Jess Baily, he wrote “Hey dude, governor, be careful so Benghazi won’t happen to you”, clearly implying to the attack of the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during which the then US ambassador in Libya, Christopher Stephens, was murdered. In another post, a bit later, he even diminutively mentions the ambassador’s name in the same context and with the same threat “Jessy, Jessy… may Benghazi happen to you”.
His threatening message for setting fire to the Embassy was expressly republished by the pro-government website “Infomaks”, which used this threat to create even more threatening article titled as “The public is losing its patience – the Embassy was once burning, the ambassador had a narrow escape, this time he won’t”. (The aforementioned article was reviewed by “Media Fact Checking Service”).
After the criticism expressed by some media which stated that Nedelkovski is publicly threatening a foreign Embassy, he, again on his Facebook profile, pleaded that he did not mention neither a specific name nor an specific Embassy, and he also referred to the critic media as “mind readers”.
However, we can clearly deduce from his post that he refers to the US Embassy, having in mind that only one Embassy in Skopje was arsoned. In fact, this can be noticed in the article published by “Infomaks” in the section that says:
Baily’s public statements started causing anger and they make the citizens use the social networks to express their disagreement and warning as well. Among them, is the journalist Milenko Nedelkovski, who compared this situation with the one from 1999-2000 when the US Embassy was set on fire, at times when the people were “fed up” and warned not to forget what happened back then, because once when these people start storming, they won’t be able to stop.
THE AUTHORITIES ARE MUTE, THE EMBASSY STILL HAS NO COMMENT
After Nedelkovki’s threats, the Embassy still hasn’t come out with a comment. On the other hand, the Basic Public Prosecution Office shortly replied that they are reviewing and analyzing all posts and articles.
In case of finding elements of perpetrated offence, after which the perpetrator can be prosecuted, the Public Prosecution Office will act in accordance with its legal competences, is stated in the response of the Basic Public Prosecution Office given to our question whether they will initiate a proceeding regarding the threats of Milenko Nedelkovski.
WHAT’S STATED IN THE LAWS REGARDING SUCH THREATS
Threats of this type, according to the Macedonian Criminal Code, are criminal offence, the lawyer Oliver Vuksanovikj points out. He quotes the Article 181 from the Criminal Code, section “Foreign country reputation violation”:
One who has mockery intention, who will publicly mock a foreign country, its flag, coat of arms or anthem or head of foreign country or diplomatic representative of a foreign country in the Republic of Macedonia shall be fined – Vuksanovikj points out.
According to him, the competent body in this case is the Basic Public Prosecution Office, because the protection of foreign diplomats is under its jurisdiction.
Also, if the plaintiff believes there are not enough evidence, he can issue an injunction because, it is a matter of a fine – Vuksanovikj adds.
In the section “Jeopardizing person under international protection” the Article 420 from the Criminal Code clearly states:
(1) One who will perpetrate kidnaping or other violence towards a person under international legal protection or will attack his official premises, private apartment or vehicle, shall be imprisoned for at least one year.
(2) If because of the acts from Paragraph 1 one or more people have died, the perpetrator shall be imprisoned for at least five years.
(3) If during perpetrating an act from Paragraph 1 the perpetrator had a criminal intent to deprive another person of life, he shall be imprisoned for at least 10 years or can receive life imprisonment.
(4) One who will jeopardize the security of the person from Paragraph 1 by using serious threats that he will attack him, his official premises, private apartment or vehicle, shall be imprisoned from one to ten years.
CONVENTION FOR PREVENTING AND SENTENCING CRIMINAL OFFENCES AGAINST PEOPLE UNDER INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
The Macedonian Parliament in 1976, when Macedonia was a part of SFRY, has passed a Law on Ratification of the Convention for Preventing and Sentencing Criminal Offences Against People Under International Protection, Including Diplomatic Agents, which has been passed on 14 December 1973.
In Article 2, Item 1 from this Convention is stated that every member state shall consider as a criminal act, based on its laws, the intentionally perpetration of:
а) murder, kidnapping or other attack of person or the freedom of person under international protection,
b) violent attack of official premises or private apartment or vehicle of person under international protection which could jeopardize his personality or freedom,
c) threat for such attack,
d) attempt for perpetrating such attack, and
е) and act that represents accomplice in such attack.
This is not the first time for this person to threaten others like this. Recently, similar call on violence was addressed towards several specified journalists. Afterwards, the specified journalists sent a proposal to the Public Prosecution Office for initiating a criminal proceeding, but the PPO decided not to act upon the proposal. The High Public Prosecution Office stated that Milenkovski’s Facebook posts are just his personal opinions.