There are no secret prison in FYROM, only secret police houses

Skopje February 16, 2006


There are no secret prison in Macedonia, but only secret police houses where people are been tortured“, Helsinki Committee’s (HC) President, Mirjana Najcevska told “Makfax”, commenting on the case of Kaled el-Masri.

“The Council of Europe is wrong when saying that the operations of the State Security Service (DBK) in the former system were carried out in secret prisons. There are only few such covert prisons in our country. Those practices were conducted in secret houses”, said Najcevska. She added that this practice is still in place. “The police has set up such secret houses throughout Macedonia.
After being tortured there, some people manage to come out of those houses, some do not”, claims Najcevska

A1 TV says that Najcevska denied that HC holds direct proofs to back its claims,but informed that during the past 10 years 15 citizens have reported to have been interrogated by plain clothes police officers in houses and apartments, not in police stations. “There have been conformations of such activities by lawyers and people that used to cooperate with the police. This ways of conduct of conducting interrogation in apartments and houses has been inherited from the former system, but since then, the number of such houses has been reduced”, Najcevska said. She added Khaled el-Masri’s case could prove to be of benefit for the country, saying that it could open the issue on the secret methods
used in the work of the Macedonian police.

“Dnevnik” says the Interior Ministry denied Najcevska’s accusations on secret police houses. “The Interior Ministry denies using houses or apartments in conducting police activities”, Chief of Interior Minister Ljubomir Mhajlovski’s Cabinet, Goran Pavlovski, said.

DS leader, Pavle Trajanov, (former high official in the Interior Ministry) said the Ministry has always been using secret apartments for holding talks with its informers and associates. Quoting former Interior Ministry officials “Dnevnik” says that the Ministry owns around 20 secret apartments throughout the country, whereas the National Security Agency (DBK) owns additional 20. The apartments are registered on employees in the Interior Ministry of close relatives of theirs. The interrogations conducted in the apartments are being recoded by cameras hidden in TV sets. “Guests” in those apartments are most often police associates, informers, foreign diplomats and employees in foreign intelligence services. The police sometimes use luxurious apartments for blackmailing or compromising public figures, “Dnevnik” says.