The Police Did Not Arrest Citizens Who Protested Peacefully In Tetovo
VMRO-DPMNE’s Spokesperson, Dimče Arsovski, on 19 September 2021, answering journalists’ questions regarding the protests in Tetovo that took place due to the tragic fire in the modular hospital, made a false statement – citizens who protested peacefully were arrested.
Venko Filipče and Zoran Zaev should immediately resign so that the investigation can proceed smoothly, without their influence. They should not arrest citizens who protest peacefully, and thus defocus the public from their resignations, Arsovski said, among other things.
[Source: YouTube Date: 19 September 2021]
The statement of VMRO-DPMNE’s Spokesperson, Dimče Arsovski – that citizens were arrested in Tetovo while peacefully protesting is false. The protests, as can be seen from the press reports and the bulletin of the Ministry of Interior, were violent at one point, and several police officers who were in charge of maintaining public order were attacked and injured.
Following the protest over the fire at the modular hospital, five protesters were detained for aggressive behaviour and physical assault on police officers.
As the Ministry of Interior informed, on 17 September 2021, police officers from the SIA-Tetovo arrested BA (31) from the village of Tuin, Kičevo, NB (52) from the village of Mala Rečica, Tetovo and D S. (33) from the village of Vesala, Tetovo, and on 18 September 2021, V.A. (33) and A.S. (30), both from Tetovo, were deprived of their liberty, because they behaved aggressively and physically attacked police officers who were performing official duty during a protest that took place on 17 September 2021 in Tetovo, in the period from 13.50 to 16.30 PM. They were detained at a police station and after the case is fully documented, appropriate charges will be filed against them.
As Marjan Josifovski, Spokesperson for the SIA-Tetovo, told TV 24, two of the detainees are suspected of committing a crime of participating in a mob that will prevent an official from performing an official duty, and the other three are reported due to suspicion that committed two crimes: assault on an official performing duty and participation in a mob.
In the protest march that started on 17 September on the town square in Tetovo, and continued in front of the municipal building where a speech was held, some of the protesters threw eggs at the building. The protest then continued towards the burned modular hospital, and towards the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), but the police blocked the access to the party headquarters, Radio MOF reported.
The violent nature of the protest can be observed from the TV 24 report that was live on the social network Facebook. As reported by TV 24, the protesters attacked the police who were defending the DUI headquarters.
The citizens who protested peacefully in Tetovo this afternoon, in support of the deceased who died in the fire in the modular hospital in Tetovo, got into a conflict with the police. They headed to the DUI headquarters in Mala Rečica, but were denied access there. The group of citizens started throwing eggs and stones at the municipal building and there was a clash with the members of the Ministry of Interior.
As the portal “Lokalno” reported, during the protest four police officers were slightly injured.
Thus, we can conclude that the statement of VMRO-DPMNE’s Spokesperson, Dimče Arsovski – people who protested peacefully in Tetovo were arrested, is untrue.
Assessed by: Ana Anastasovska
This article has been produced within the project Fact-Checking the Progress of North Macedonia towards the EU, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. The article, originally published by Truthmeter,, is made possible by the support of the American non-profit foundation NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The content of this article is the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, NED or their partners.