Bulgarian man who abused Romani youth convicted of racially-motivated attack
Last week the District Court in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, reviewed the case of a racist attack perpetrated by Angel Kaleev. In April of this year, Kaleev assaulted a Romani youth, Mitko Jonkov, after Jonkov dared to assert that he and Kaleev were equals.
According to information published by the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the court came to the conclusion that Kaleev is guilty of committing an ethnically-motivated hate attack against an individual (per Article 126, paragraph 2 CC of Bulgarian law). The court has sentenced Kaleev to an 11-month imprisonment, deferred for a probationary period of three years.
In addition, Kaleev must also perform community service work. The ERRC believes this is the first-ever case of the Bulgarian justice system deciding to acknowledge racial motivation for a violent crime committed against a member of an ethnic minority.
"In Bulgaria we are used to seeing investigators and prosecutors ignoring racist crimes and by all means refusing to recognize them as such so that the mere submission of an indictment for a racially motivated crime in this case is a big success. In this sense, the agreement reached in this case is a breakthrough and [we] hope that investigators and prosecutors across the country will adopt this practice," said Margarita Ilieva, Legal Director of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC).
The case, which news server Romea.cz reported on previously, shocked the Bulgarian public and sparked a wave of solidarity with the victim. A video recording of the incident taken by the assailant using a mobile phone shows roughly rwo minutes of his aggressive, brutal bullying of young Mitko.
After the video was published, the aggressor said he did not feel guilty and that he is a proud Bulgarian nationalist. The Romani victim of his attack grew up an orphan and is currently working and caring for four brothers.
A total of 800 000 Romani people live in Bulgaria. Similar cases of violence against them there occur regularly.
- Bulgaria: Anti-Romani protests in southern town of Radnevo
- Commentary: Standing with Mitko against racist violence in Bulgaria
- Bulgaria: Romani "imam" arrested last year for allegedly joining the so-called Islamic State
- Some charges dropped against Romani couple in Greece who cared for Romani child from Bulgaria
- Bulgarian Helsinki Committee: Opportunistic politicians evicting Roma for political gain
- Bulgarian NGOs get injunction suspending demolition of Roma homes in Peshtera
- Bulgaria and France reprimanded by UN Human Rights Commissioner over Roma displacement
- Bulgaria: Romani dwellings demolished in Varna
- Bulgaria Must Stop Its Anti-Roma Attacks
- Gallup poll shows Roma isolation from Bulgarian society has intensified over the last 20 years
- Czech racists hated Vodafone Christmas ad featuring non-white children, the company objects to their online comments
- Scandalous fourth acquittal by Czech court of racist football fans accused of assaulting Black man on tram
- Czech court gives suspended sentence to adults who assaulted young Romani children physically and verbally in a park last year
- German court sentences terrorist who attacked Halle synagogue last year to life in prison
- Racists in Czech capital assault non-white family, call the father "Cikán", give the Nazi salute, try to take their baby
- Older Romani woman recounts how security guards in Czech shop saved her from violent racist thug
- Bulgarian COVID-19 pandemic measures have closed Romani neighborhoods, causing job losses and food shortages
- Romani politicians: Slovak court's judgment in case of police abuse of children is unacceptable
- Slovenian scandal when weekly close to PM says God sent COVID-19 to "protect whites from corruption"
- Czech Republic: Further action needed to integrate Roma children in schools and prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons
- Commentary: Senator infamous for antigypsyist remarks about the "cikánská question" joins regional party in the Czech Republic
- COMMENTARY: Czech TV show portrays Roma as nothing but criminals