Todays Date
September 29, 2020

Prison for fighters on foreign fronts

Criminal Code is going to be amended in September, with imprisonment not only for those who recruit and organize our citizens to war, as under the current legislation, but for participants in foreign fronts. The proposal comes from the president of the Democratic Alliance, Pavle Trajanov

Macedonian citizens are involved in fronts in Syria, Iraq and North Africa. In a growing number they return from crisis areas and new recruitment is done. According to the former head of the Ministry of Interior, Pavle Trajanov, there is a real threat to Macedonia and the Balkans, so it is necessary to act preemptively.

The Criminal Code states that to organize, recruit and refer our citizens to participate in military and paramilitary formations in crisis areas is a criminal offence.

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Pavle Trajanov

“I have drafted a law to amend the Criminal Code, where I suggest that the one who takes part in foreign military or paramilitary formations is to be punished with imprisonment of three months to three years. I submitted this legislative project a month ago to the internal party alignment and I expect a positive response immediately after the holidays and the procedure for its adoption to begin”, explains Pavle Trajanov in an interview for Inbox7, which we will fully publish soon.

Yesterday Minister Gordana Jankulovska said that the current legislation should be amended and provides sanctions for the organizers of groups, also for persons going to fight in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.

gordana-jankulovska

Gordana Jankulovska

“Personally I think there is room for further strengthening of the regulation, i.e. defining a new criminal offence or extending the current one which will provide a sanction for persons found to have participated in such actions”, said Jankulovska.

“So far, seven of our citizens have been killed in Syria by the opposition. Estimates are that dozens, perhaps over a hundred are involved in these paramilitary formations, they are trained for combat activities, terrorist activities, they can use resources of mass destruction, they can use explosive devices and other types of weapons. They have some special training, first they are “brainwashed” that they can kill for some higher goals, including women and children, etc. They commit cruel murders, cruel liquidations. Regardless of that, they are a serious threat to the security of each country located in the Balkans and they are a threat to our strategic, national and territorial interests”, says Trajanov.

According to him, after the US intervention in Iraq, in an increasing number they will return from the crisis areas of Syria and Iraq to safe places, and safe is where they come from and where they have their own connections, communications and contacts.

“Some of them have already returned to Kosovo and probably to Macedonia and they can all be organized together and start attacks against our strategic interests. It is a real possibility and objective threat in the Republic of Macedonia”, says the former head of the Interior Ministry.

New recruitment is conducted

The head of the Islamic Religious Community in Macedonia, Reis-ul-ulema Efendi Sulejman Rexhepi in a statement for VOA in Albanian highlights the problem that he says cannot be hidden – IRC has no control over two mosques.

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Sulejman Rexhepi

“In mosques “Yahya Pasha” and “Tutunsez”, where although we have our people employed, imams and their assistants, the head is not ours, but imposed. Nevertheless, we are free and he cannot ban us from entering there, but we do not have complete control of these two mosques. We have sought from the competent government authorities to help us respecting the law, but they have not carried out their work, so if something happens in Yahya Pasha mosque and “Tutunzes”, it will happen in the Ministry of Interior, not in our facilities”, said the head of IRC, Rexhepi.

According to him, material interest is the main motive of Albanians leaving for Ukraine, Iraq and Syria.

“Those people who encourage departure in Syria war stay at home and only see material interest. They do not realize what damage they are doing to us as Muslims and Albanians. I have a message to all those who love peace, culture and civilization: I would like the legal state to function”, Rexhepi appeals.

He points out that a man who left here in a civil war between the government and the opposition cannot be a hero (shehid), says Rexhepi, adding that organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq, as IDIL, have nothing to do with Islam, but are completely terrorist.

The president of the Democratic Alliance Trajanov explains that recruitment is on religious grounds, that it is a holy war – jihad, that they must resist the imperialist forces and everything related to the United States, England, Germany, that it is a serious threat to their interests.

“They motivate them on religious grounds, but I believe there is a political influence globally, because those who manage these processes have enormous financial power. One way or another they motivate, recruit people, especially young people are susceptible to influence”, says Trajanov.

“There is a new recruitment, so we have to be extremely cautious and we should all be responsible and above all to take preventive measures. If something like Smiljkovsko Lake happens, the consequences can be terrible for the overall situation in the Republic of Macedonia. And then certain responsibility will be sought, because we cannot allow state institutions to claim that everything is peaceful and sound, on the other hand all influential centers that explore security issues and questions, the political situation in the world, indicate that there are our citizens participating in armed conflicts and that they are a serious threat to the safety of all”, says Trajanov.

Professional soldiers earn 2,000 to 3,000 dollars per week

“Those who recruit Serbian citizens and organize their departure on foreign battlefields will be punished by two to 12 years in prison, while individuals who will join military and paramilitary forces in the world will be punished by one to five years in prison. These are amendments to the Criminal Code to be adopted in autumn”, said for the Serbian media vice president of the Serbian government, Rasim Ljajic.

Ukraine Protests

The drop that spilled the glass in Serbia and accelerated the adoption of legislative amendments is the emergence of a group of men who call themselves Jovan Sevic militia battalion, fighting for the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and publicly boasting to kill Ukrainians.

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Ivica Dacic

They are also called the “Dogs of War” and unofficially their salary is 2,000 or 3,000 dollars a week, for those who fight for the Ukrainian army. Minister Ivica Dacic warns there are Serbian volunteers in Syria and Iraq. In Ukraine currently there are 100 Serbs. 45 members of the Chetnik movement (militia battalion), 20 volunteers, and 20 or 30 Serbs or persons of Serbian origin who used to live in Ukraine take part in the fights.

Macedonian police have no official data on how many Macedonian citizens participate or have been soldiers in wars in the Middle East and North Africa. Yesterday a 24 year-old Albanian was killed in Syria, who, as Albanian media announced, was influenced by the jihadists. Officially, 36 ethnic Albanians from the region have died fighting in the ranks of extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, of which seven were from Macedonia. In the last action of the Kosovo police recently more than 90 jihadists were arrested, one of them of Macedonian citizenship.

Editor: Stojanka Mitreska