The “Vanco Mihajlov” club in Bitola did not remove the disputed content on social media even though the deadline for that has expired, and today the deadline for the rest of the recommendations regarding the name and content also expires, so if it does not act on them, criminal proceedings will follow, the Commission for prevention and protection against discrimination said at today’s press conference.

As the Commission informed, since the deadline for removing the content on social media has expired, it has been determined that, in addition to spreading disturbing speech in which the character, work and ideology of Mihajlov are glorified, there are also serious indications that they have racial and xenophobic content, cause intolerance, hatred and discrimination and violate the rights and freedom of a large number of people, now the further procedure is led by the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The member of the Commission, Vesna Bendevska, emphasizes that although they have the right to initiate criminal proceedings, they still decided to leave it to the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office, which asked them to provide information and copies of the controversial content published by the club on social media.

The disputed content refers not only to disturbing speech, but there are serious indications that the rights of a large number of people are being violated, and this refers to the provisions of the article of the Criminal Law, with which we pass the ball to the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office, said Bendevska.

She added that the deadline for the recommendations regarding the disputed name and content of the club expires today, so the next step is a meeting of the Commission and determination of a possible misdemeanor procedure.

Bendevska clarified that with regard to these two recommendations, the Ministry of Justice should submit a letter, because they are in charge of carrying out extraordinary supervision of the application of the provisions of the Law on Associations and Foundations, and the cultural center should prove to the Central Register that they have decided to change their name.

At the conference, it was informed that the Commission received numerous petitions from civil associations that refer to the Bulgarian community in the country.