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Ethnic Albanian Protest Ends Peacefully In Skopje

Several thousand ethnic Albanians have staged a peaceful protest in the Macedonian capital Skopje against the jailing of six ethnic Albanians on murder and terrorism charges.

The six were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of five Macedonians during Orthodox Easter in 2012. The protesters call the convictions politically motivated.

There had been concerns the protests on July 11 might lead to violence because police in Skopje clashed with protesters at a rally last week against the prison sentences.

The U.S. Embassy in Skopje, the European Union, and the OSCE mission had called on citizens of Macedonia to refrain from violence and to demonstrate their views peacefully.

In a statement given to RFE/RL on July 11, the U.S. Embassy said "violence undermines the legitimacy of causes and detracts from productive efforts to resolve issues."