Bulgarian media showed edited footage of interethnic altercation in shop - full footage shows a different story
New video footage has been released online showing what preceded the altercation in a shop in the Bulgarian town of Garbovo on 7 April. The Bulgarian media had first reported that three Romani customers had randomly assaulted an employee of the shop.
After that misleading version of the events was publicized, anti-Romani pogroms broke out in the town. Now newly-released, full video footage of what preceded the incident (see above) shows that the employee (the person in the light green sweatshirt), was attempting to deal with a verbal dispute between a Romani man and a youth who is apparently ethnic Bulgarian.
At that point the two other Romani men present are doing their best to calm their friend. When it seems the verbal exchange of opinions is coming to an end, the employee walks away from the small group.
The ethnic Bulgarian youth and the Romani youth continue speaking, however. Suddenly the shop employee comes back to the group and enters the conflict.
The shop employee speaks to the Romani youth in such a way that their heads lightly make contact. A scuffle begins with the other two Romani men.
The Romani man who originally was apparently in a verbal conflict with the ethnic Bulgarian youth does his best to defend the salesperson from being assaulted by the other two Romani men - he pushes them away, but they continue their attempt. The sales clerk stumbles and falls to the ground.
The first Romani man is still attempting to defend the sales clerk from attack when the sales clerk gets up and punches one of the other Romani men, at which point the entire conflict escalates. The two Romani men who were initially holding their friend back in his altercation with the ethnic Bulgarian youth are now fighting the sales clerk, while the Romani man who was involved in the verbal exchange at the beginning does his best, until the very end of the conflict, to defend the sales clerk and to break up the brawl.
Bulgarian media, however, only showed footage of the conflict from the moment the brawl was already underway - edited in that way, nobody could see that it was the sales clerk who threw a punch. The footage initially released by the Bulgarian media also did not show that one of the Romani men was doing his best to defend the sales clerk from being assaulted by the other two.
Anti-Romani pogroms broke out in Garbovo after the Bulgarian media misinformed the public that "three Romani men had beaten up a sales clerk". News server Sofiaglobe.com reports that two homes in which Romani people were living have since been burned to the ground.
Three men aged 28, 27 and 19 now face criminal prosecution for that arson. Other news reports say a total of nine people were arrested during the anti-Roma unrest.
The three Romani men who were in the shop during the conflict with the sales clerk were initially arrested by police, detained for 24 hours, and then released without being either accused or charged. After the anti-Romani demonstrations broke out, those Romani suspects were re-arrested and held in custody.
- Bulgaria: Roma fear imminent genocide after mob violence, police have been deployed
- Emiliya Dancheva: Can we trust the European Parliament if its members are deaf and blind to anti-Gypsyism in Bulgaria?
- Bulgaria: Anti-Roma Protests Continue After Alleged Romani Attacks on Teenagers
- Bulgaria: Alleged Romani Attacks on Rowers Sparks Anti-Roma Protest
- Bernard Rorke: Bulgarian government sticks a middle finger at Europe and appoints a fascist to head integration unit
- Bulgaria: Chair of the Council on Ethnic Minority Integration is now right-wing extremist Valeri Simeonov
- Bulgarian Police assault two Romani men, one of whom then died
- Militant Bulgarian nationalists visited the Czech Parliament this year
- President of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee assaulted in Sofia, says it was retribution for his human rights work
- Analysis from Bulgaria: Anti-Gypsyism is the enemy at the gates
- Bulgarian man who abused Romani youth convicted of racially-motivated attack
- 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
- European Commission sending millions of euro for independent media to combat disinformation
- Bulgarian officials exploiting fear of COVID-19 to discriminate against Roma
- EUobserver on how anti-Roma racism is being exploited during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Forced sterilizations in Europe and the USA and their consequences for today
- Czech bookstore fires clerk for racially insulting Romani colleague on social media
- Czech Government Commissioner for Human Rights files report of crime over media coverage of her past
- Czech Human Rights Commissioner to stay in office, most civil society members of Human Rights Council support her
- Czech Police investigating Nazi symbols on 14 buildings in Ústí nad Orlicí
- Czech student resigns from academic senate after his racist past is revealed
- Czech mayor who failed to tackle "white flight" publicly curses nonprofits and Romani people, Agency for Social Inclusion calls for dialogue
- Iulius Rostas: Operationalizing the concept of anti-Gypsyism for policy design
- Zdeněk Ryšavý: Online hate - what can we do? Welcoming remarks at the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH)