Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Macedonia released Spaska Mitrova

Adelina Marini, October 8, 2009

Spaska Mitrova, the woman with Bulgarian and Macedonian citizenship that was held in prison for not giving her husband a bed while visiting their child, has been released today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced while ago. In a statement the ministry says that the decision to release Mrs. Mitrova is an act of good will but asks why this did not happen earlier "so as to spare one human tragedy".

Earlier in the day, all Bulgarian members of the European Parliament sent an open letter to the enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn to draw his attention to a case of a violation of human and civil rights in the Republic of Macedonia. Spaska Mitrova was sentenced to 3 months jail which led to a war of words between Bulgaria and Macedonia, in which even the president Georgi Parvanov intervened.

In their letter the MEPs point out that Mrs. Mitrova was "brutally arrested" by 20 policemen in her home in the Macedonian town of Gevgelia with the "absurd charge" for not creating good enough conditions (a bed) to her ex-husband during his visits with their son. Furthermore, the MEPs explain the conditions in which she was arrested. Her child was also moved to a social institution, in spite of the very strong medical recommendations the child to remain with his mother because of a serious medical condition.

The letter was signed by all Bulgarian MEPs.