The Eco-Guerilla movement informed the public these past days that they had been receiving threats and blackmail from various individuals, so that they keep silent and not deal with the work of Jugohrom.
Arijanit Xhaferi from Eco-Guerilla says for CIVIL Media that in regards to the threats and blackmail they faced, the first call they received was anonymous in which they were offered a large amount of money, but that they didn’t take the message seriously, because it was anonymous.
“After several days we were contacted by one person, after by another, and then by a third person, all of this was in the past three weeks. We had contacts with people who offered us a lot of money, for us to keep silent in the next two months in terms of Jugohrom’s work. It was strange that Jugohrom was not even a topic of discussion in the past three months for
us from Eco-Guerilla, because it is closed and we were expecting for it to fulfill all the environmental standards before it was opened, as the agreement is”, says Xhaferi.
He adds that personally he is not worried about his safety and does not feel that he is in some kind of danger because of this situation, adding – We are not afraid of such cowards who are threatening us, because they are not courageous enough to come in person and to do that.
“What concerns us is the safety of the citizens of Tetovo from the possible restarting of Jugohrom without filters, that is the greatest evil that can happen here. The citizens already know and the entire public knows that we have been having 60 percent less pollution ever since Jugohrom was closed, and the number of children suffering from respiratory diseases has halved. Our personal safety is our own problem, and we are not worried at all, we know the kind of work we have taken on”, adds Arijanit.
Eco-Guerilla have received support also from the citizens and the NGO sector, after the news was announced at a press conference. Xhaferi says that neither Eco-Guerilla or any other organization should be prevented from doing what it does, and the least to be silenced or bribed.
“In the civil sector we are all equal players, and because this happened to us, it can very easily happen to anyone else, and the person who is threatening needs to be punished immediately”, he says.
From the Association they say that with the previous government they had no such pressures, and that they didn’t expect to have such pressures now, and that if they weren’t afraid of the previous government – they won’t be afraid of this one either.
“Following the press conference of Eco-Guerilla, a question and discussion were raised in the Parliament in regards to the threats and blackmail, and the possibility of restarting Jugohrom again, where Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev and Minister Oliver Spasovski reacted to this, giving guarantees that Jugohrom will not reopen without fully fulfilling all the environmental standards”, stressed Xhaferi.
Eco-Guerilla reported this case to the Sector for Internal Affairs Tetovo, but they do not expect for any major justice to be carried out, nor for the person who was anonymously calling to be found.
“We do not expect justice, however, we would still like to convey and let them know that we will not give up, it’s not about our own safety, it’s about the safety of the citizens of Tetovo, regardless if it concerns Albanians, Macedonians, Turks, Roma or other minorities, whether they are Muslims or Christians or atheists. Pollution does not discriminate on any ground, so not even the politicians are left out. Their families also breathe the same air”, highlights Xhaferi.
Camera: Dehran Muratov
Editing: Biljana Jordanovska