The Helsinki Committee, a Soros and US Embassy backed NGO organization, filed criminal charges with the Interior Ministry alleging that academic and distinguished Macedonian literature expert Katica Kulafkova is responsible for hate speech. This NGO has frequently proposed similar charges using the broadly defined hate speech laws, exclusively against critics of the Zoran Zaev’s criminal junta.
In Kulafkova’s case, she promptly deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts after the threat of criminal action. The comment in question was a pun she tweeted the day before: “The price of our lives together is paid with our lives”. It was a clear reference to the massive increase in coronavirus cases and deaths which has been largely attributed to the disregard for social distancing rules in the Muslim community, mainly the NE areas of Skopje populated by albanians, which have by far the most new cases.
The difficult to translate word Kulafkova used – “sozivot: in Macedonian – refers to living together with a different ethnic community, in this case Macedonians and Albanians, and is frequently used in both a laudatory sense, but also as criticism to point to issues with another community. The facts of the comment were confirmed by doctors today, against protests from clueless Albanian journalists who demanded that the Macedonian community is also blamed for the spike in cases. Yet, the spike in cases is solely attributed to the muslim Albanians, particularly after Ramadan. Telma TV reported in one instance how the suburb of Chair, had muslim shops open during the lockdown with people waiting in line to enter.
The attack against Kulafkova comes at a time when Macedonia is gearing how best to respond to the on-going pressure from Bulgaria to give up on the uniqueness of the Macedonian language, as separate from the Bulgarian. Kulafkova, who was until recently an ally to the left wing groups and participated in the 2015/16 Colored Revolution that brougt Zaev’s criminal junta to power, but is also a critic of the concessions Zaev is making on the national identity issues, is likely going to be a key person in formulating the response.
Meanwhile, the close coordination between the ostensibly independent NGO sector and Zaev’s junta was confirmed by Zaev himself recently, as a leaked recording showed him bragging that the NGO groups, “those funded by George Soros, they’re all mine”.