Macedonia will pay damages to the families of two Roma who passed away in prison!

The Government will pay a total of 24.000 Euros to the families of two male Roma who passed away in suspicious circumstances while they were in prison in 2017, announced the European Center for Roma Rights (ECCR)

The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) closed two cases after reaching an agreement between the members of the families and the Government.

Andrias Redjepov, 21 year old Roma, died in the Idrizovo prison in Skopje on the 11th of March in 2017. The ECRR imply that there was a report of a prisoner who passed away due to methadone overdose, even though the prisoner wasn’t a drug addict. There’s evidence that, in the hours before his death, Redjepov was exposed to torture. His parents will receive a compensation of 6.000 per parent.

Jusinov Erdal was a 25 year old male who died on the 22nd of March in 2017 in the Stip prison due to a lack of medical attention which he needed in the hours before his death. Jusinov was married and is a father of a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. Also, this case implies that he was abused from the prison gourds and doctors, his sister will receive a compensation of 12.00 Euros.

The ECCR say that these deaths are a part of a series of four suspicious death cases of Roma prisoners in a period of 9 months in 2017, in several prisons all over North Macedonia. In North Macedonia, they say that, the pattern of deaths involving drug overdoses and allegations of ill-treatment has been going on for several years, for which the ERRC has been suing since 2010.

“All of North Macedonia should see each of these tragic deaths as a disgrace for the country. This is the third case in the recent years in which the ECCR sued North Macedonia and secured thousands of Euros as compensation for the families of the dead – and will continue to investigate these cases of suspicious deaths and to take legal measures if the authorities deny to take responsibility for their mishaps. From 2017, these such mistakes have cost the Macedonian tax payers well over 33.000 Euros in compensations, and the ECCR have other cases which are waiting to be solved. This needs to be a message for the responsible authorities that the institutional discrimination is a costly mistake, and that we will make sure that you pay dearly”, stated the President of the ECCR – Gjorgje Jovanovikj.

Although an amicable settlement means that no verdict of condemnation will be handed down to the competent authorities in Northern Macedonia, according to the ERRC, the payment of compensation in this amount to some extent addresses the seriousness of human rights violations and can be considered a silent acceptance of guilt by the Government of Northern Macedonia.

The case from the ECCR regarding the suspicious death of another Roma – the 39 year old Bekim Demir is still awaiting conclusion at the ECHR.

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