While arresting member of Parliament Ljupco Dimovski on Friday, the police smashed through his door, breaking the reinforced lock. A disturbing picture was shared online today and Dimovski confirmed that the police used force during his arrest.

I suppose they thought that is the most appropriate way to detain me, he told Republika stoically.

Dimovski was charged with “terrorism” over the April 2017 incident in the Parliament. He ultimately refused to vote to rename Macedonia into North Macedonia, like several other members of Parliament who were charged in the same case did. But, the amnesty which was negotiated in exchange for their votes applied to Dimovski as well, and he was released by the court.

A new round of charges against him were revealed on Friday. Also targeted were two other former Agriculture Ministers, Aleksandar Spasenovski and Mihail Cvetkov. All three, like Dimovski, are from the small opposition Socialist Party. Kristijan Delev, former Deputy Agriculture Minister from VMRO-DPMNE was also charged and arrested in a series of dawn raids, when the distinguished political officials were arrested like armed criminals.

Dimovski’s case is the eight time the immunity of an opposition member of Parliament was revoked in this Parliament, which is an unprecedented number in Macedonian post-Communist history. Dimovski’s supporters clearly see his detention as revenge for his refusal to vote to rename Macedonia.

This man is sacrificing himself without pause for Macedonia! He showed us what having a spine and an attitude looks like and is the victim of political persecution. Ljubac, we remain with you, VMRO-DPMNE party leader Hristijan Mickoski said after Dimovski’s detention.

Socialist Party leader Ljubisav Ivanov Zingo is the owner of the most watched TV station in Macedonia – Sitel TV. The arrest of three top party officials in one day raised concerns about Government attempts to influence the reporting of this station, which on Saturday had the first interview with former Prime Minister Nikola Grueski, who now lives in political exile in Hungary.