The Arrest of a Trade Unionist is a Cause of Concern

The signatories to the Charter for Solidarity of Trade Unions and Associations for Protection of Labor Rights (the Confederation of Trade Union Organizations of Macedonia, the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers, the Trade Union of the Macedonian Diplomatic Service, the Movement for Social Justice”Lenka” and the leftwing movement “Solidarity”) were deeply saddened by the news of the apprehension of Dr. Dejan Stavrikj, ophthalmologist and until recently a President of the Trade Union of the Clinical Center.

Considering that Dr. Dejan Stavrikj is a prominent trade union leader, known in the public for his resistance to the Government politics and the successful strike of the medical professionals, his apprehension cannot but raise suspicions regarding the motives behind this act, especially taking into account that it took place soon after the successful May Day protest organized by the signatories to the Charter.   In all democratic countries, apprehension of a trade union president is a highly sensitive act which sends a threatening message to everyone who is active in the area of trade unions and protection of labor rights.

We would refrain from discussing the accusations against Dr. Dejan Stavrikj but, should they prove valid, we would not dispute them. However, in accordance with the constitutional right to be presumed innocent, the signatories to the Charter will be following the case and we would do everything in our power to prevent the name of the trade union leader be dragged through the mud until there is no effective court decision.