Informe sobre el país: Macedonia

Macedonia

Issues

  • The end of conscription in Macedonia also meant the end of conscientious objection. Macedonia does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Military recruitment

Conscription

Although Macedonia abolished conscription, the constitution of Macedonia still states in its Article 28: “The defence of the Republic of Macedonia is the right and duty of every citizen. The exercise of this right and duty of citizens is regulated by law1. Conscription was abolished with the Law for Change and Supplement of the Defence Law (ЗАКОН ЗА ИЗМЕНУВАЊЕ И ДОПОЛНУВАЊЕ НА ЗАКОНОТ ЗА ОДБРАНА) in 20062. However, in theory military duty is still mandatory for all male Macedonian citizens aged 18 to 55, according to Article 3 paragraph 1 on the Defence Law (ЗАКОН ЗА ОДБРАНА)3. This seems to be only a specification of the provisions in the constitution, as there is no further implementation of this duty in the law.

Professional soldiers

“Voluntary military service” is available to men and women and generally lasts three months (Article 7 paragraph 1 Defence Law).

Article 25 of the Army Service Regulation Law (ЗАКОН ЗА СЛУЖБА ВО АРМИЈАТА)4 specifies who can join the military. According to this article, applicants have to be citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and have to be “mature” (generally believed to mean 18 years or older).

The Macedonian military issues calls to the general public to achieve its recruitment targets, and also aims to recruit those finishing their voluntary military service of three months.

Conscientious objection

Conscientious objection for conscripts

With the amendment of the Defence Law in 2006, all provisions for conscientious objection have been deleted from the law.

Conscientious objection for professional soldiers

Macedonia does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Article 225 of the Army Service Regulation Law sets out the possibilities for discharge from the Armed Forces. According to paragraph 9 of this article, a discharge is possible on application, and the Ministry of Defence has to decide on such an application within 1-3 months (Article 226). An appeal against the decision of the Ministry of Defence is possible.

It is clear that this does not provide for a right to conscientious objection.

Draft evasion and desertion

Both, the Army Service Regulation Law and the Penal Code of Macedonia set out punishments for crimes in relation to military duties.

Article 341 of the Penal Code deals with avoiding call-up, presumably also in case of call-up of reserves. According to this article, not responding to call up can be punished with a fine, or up to one year imprisonment. If someone goes into hiding to avoid call-up, the punishment increases from 3 months to three years imprisonment, and leaving the country in order to avoid service can be punished with 1 to 5 years imprisonment.

According to article 344 of the Penal Code, being absent without leave for up to 10 days can be punished with a fine or up to 1 year imprisonment, being absent for up to 30 days can be punished with between six months and 5 years imprisonment. If someone absents him/herself by leaving the country, the punishment is from 1 to 10 years imprisonment.

Abandoning ones unit “during the execution of an important task or during an increased level of combat readiness” can be punished with 3 months to 3 years imprisonment.

No information on practice is available.

Notes

1Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/mk00000_.html, accessed 22 April 2008

2The Law for Change and Supplement of the Defence Law, Government Gazette No. 58/2006. http://www.morm.gov.mk/Zakon/Izmeni%20na%20Zakonot%20za%20odbrana.html (Macedonian), accessed 22 April 2008

3Defence Law of the Republic of Macedonia, http://www.morm.gov.mk/zakon.htm (Macedonian), accessed 22 April 2008

4Army Service Regulation Law (ЗАКОН ЗА СЛУЖБА ВО АРМИЈАТА), http://www.morm.gov.mk/zakonarm.htm (Macedonian), accessed 22 April 2008

AttachmentSize
Rrtk-update-2008-Macedonia.pdf149.23 KB

Co related articles

25 Mar 2013
Español

La objeción de conciencia es considerada más a menudo como un imperativo moral que como una estrategia. Sin embargo, en países con servicio militar obligatorio, existen diversas maneras de evitar o atrasar el servicio militar. Hay quien obtiene una dispensa médica. Otros huyen, emigran, eligen profesiones que les eximen del reclutamiento, o sobornan a funcionarios.

01 Jun 2006
Español

El parlamento de Macedonia votó en Mayo la abolición del servicio militar , de echo ya no serán llamados nuevos reclutas para hacer el servicio militar. El ministerio de defensa de Macedonia ya había anunciado el final del servicio militar en Abril del 2006, aunque la decisión formal se hizo en el parlamento en Mayo.

01 Mar 2006
English

On 11 January 2006 War Resisters' International asked the Macedonian Ministry of Defence some questions about applications for conscientious objection in 2005. WRI did so on request of its Macedonian section Peace Action, who were unable to obtain the figures, and were told by the Ministry of Defence that they might respond to questions from an international/foreign NGO. Peace Action drafted the fax in Macedonian, and this was put on WRI stationary, signed and faxed to the Ministry of Defence from London.

24 Jun 2004
English

Organized by War Resisters' International and Peace Action

20-23 June 2004, Boy Scouts' camp, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia

The Boy Scouts' camp was the place on which 60 peace activists from all around the world gathered on the seminar on subject Conscientious objection and peace. From 20 – 23 June the seminar was held, and the next two days were days for War Resisters International Council meeting.

01 Jun 2004
English
International Seminar in Macedonia, June 2004

Introduction

War Resisters' International, the international network of pacifist organisations founded in 1921, and its Macedonian affiliate Peace Action are planning an international seminar on conscientious objection and peace in Ohrid, Macedonia in June 2004.