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August 24, 2019
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Bulgaria

The altercation on 7 April 2019 in a shop in the Bulgarian town of Garbovo. (PHOTO:  Facebook.com)
The altercation on 7 April 2019 in a shop in the Bulgarian town of Garbovo. (PHOTO: Facebook.com)

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Emiliya Dancheva: Can we trust the European Parliament if its members are deaf and blind to anti-Gypsyism in Bulgaria?

9.5.2018 6:55 One year ago, the leader of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Mr Boyko Borissov, became Prime Minister of Bulgaria for the third time since 2009, forming an unprecedented ruling coalition with nationalistic and xenophobic parties (VMRO, ATAKA and NFSB).  full story

Anti-Roma protests in Bulgaria (July 2, 2017, PHOTO: Btv Novosti)

videoBulgaria: Anti-Roma Protests Continue After Alleged Romani Attacks on Teenagers

4.7.2017 11:40 Another huge anti-Roma protest occurred in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria on Sunday, 2 July. This was the fifth anti-Roma protest that has occurred since nine Romani locals allegedly attacked several teenagers on the local rowing team.  full story

Bulgaria: Alleged Romani Attacks on Rowers Sparks Anti-Roma Protest

29.6.2017 15:41 The Bulgarian News Agency reports that an anti-Roma protest happened in Assenovgrad, southern Bulgaria, last week. Roughly 1 500 non-Romani people are said to have joined the protest on the evening of Wednesday,  28 June.  full story

Ilustrated PHOTO: www.errc.org

Bernard Rorke: Bulgarian government sticks a middle finger at Europe and appoints a fascist to head integration unit

28.6.2017 16:45 The muted EU response to the appointment of Patriot Front henchman, Valeri Simeonov, to lead Bulgaria’s council on integration beggars belief. In an open letter on May 29, nearly 400 Bulgarian human rights activists and intellectuals, denounced the appointment of a "pronounced supporter of fascist and neo-Nazi ideology,"  full story

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Bulgaria: Chair of the Council on Ethnic Minority Integration is now right-wing extremist Valeri Simeonov

28.5.2017 11:05 Agence France-Presse reports that the chair of the ultra-right "National Party for the Salvation of Bulgaria", Valeri Simeonov, was appointed head of the country's Council on Ethnic MInority Integration on 26 May, which is in charge of relations with the Romani and Turkish minorities there. The party is a member of an alliance of nationalist parties called "United Patriots" which, together with the "Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria" party (GERB), which won the elections in March there, is forming a new governing coalition.  full story

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Bulgarian Police assault two Romani men, one of whom then died

5.5.2017 7:38 The European Roma Rights Centre reports that a Romani father and son who were assaulted and beaten up by a group of police officers near their home in the town of Bohot, Pleven Province, Bulgaria on 13 April were victims of police brutality. The incident began when the men parked their car near a forest to collect kindling.  full story

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Central and East European NGOs critique EU Member States barring asylum-seekers

31.1.2017 9:49 Some EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe are making it difficult for persons fleeing war to seek asylum on their territories. They have complicated the asylum-seekers' access to protection by increasing border checks, erecting physical barriers on their borders and undertaking various police procedures to deter them.  full story

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videoVIDEO: We are the change! Young Roma want to get into politics

2.1.2017 6:35 One way to overcome discrimination against Roma and ensure their equal status in society, according to the organization ERIO (European Roma Information Office), os the involvement of Roma young people in politics. The organization has now released a video in which young Roma appear from five different European countries - Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Spain.  full story

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Militant Bulgarian nationalists visited the Czech Parliament this year

12.11.2016 9:14 Several of the anti-Islam demonstrations held at the end of the summer in the Czech Republic featured members of the Bulgarian ultra-nationalist party Shipka and Bulgarian paramilitary units known as the Military Union of Vasil Levski standing side by side with the Czech Islamophobic movements. The Bulgarian paramilitary units are infamous for their militant clothing, knives, pepper spray and truncheons worn while chasing refugees at the Bulgarian-Turkish border who are attempting to enter Europe through Bulgarian territory.  full story

PHOTO: Google Maps

President of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee assaulted in Sofia, says it was retribution for his human rights work

28.10.2016 16:05 The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) reports that Krasimir Kanev, the president of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), an independent NGO that protects human rights, was assaulted in Sofia yesterday. Kanev has told the BIRN he was attacked around 9:30 AM in front of the Radisson Hotel by two men he did not know who punched him in the face and stomach before fleeing the scene.  full story

PHOTO: Google Maps

Analysis from Bulgaria: Anti-Gypsyism is the enemy at the gates

6.9.2016 8:24 How are mobs organized? How do they gather so fast to dispense "justice"?
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Bulgarian man who abused Romani youth convicted of racially-motivated attack

19.7.2016 7:40 Last week the District Court in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, reviewed the case of a racist attack perpetrated by Angel Kaleev. In April of this year, Kalev assaulted a Romani youth, Mitko Jonkov, after Jonkov dared to assert that he and Kalev were equals.    full story

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Bulgaria: Anti-Romani protests in southern town of Radnevo

8.5.2016 9:14 Anti-Romani unrest broke out last Wednesday in the southern Bulgarian town of Radnevo. Approximately 2 000 Bulgarians demonstrated for a fair investigation of a brawl on Monday between three ethnic Bulgarians and four men from a local Romani family that resulted in serious injuries.  full story

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Commentary: Standing with Mitko against racist violence in Bulgaria

30.4.2016 12:49 After a video surfaced on YouTube showing Mitko, a 17-year-old Romani youth from the Bulgarian village of Ovchepoltsi, being racially abused, beaten and kicked in the face for saying that he considered himself equal to his "nationalist" attacker, outrage turned quickly to solidarity. Within days, an online #RomaAreEqual campaign was launched by the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC), and thousands across Europe affirmed that they "stand with Mitko" against racist violence and demanded an appropriate response from the Bulgarian authorities.  full story

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Bulgarian Helsinki Committee: Opportunistic politicians evicting Roma for political gain

13.10.2015 20:39 On 9 October, Kaloyan Stanev of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee published an opinion piece through the Open Society Foundations about the evictions of Roma that have been ongoing there. He describes police giving families one hour to leave their dwellings before they are bulldozed.  full story

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Central European artists and politicians call for solidarity with migrants

18.9.2015 20:51 Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the Associated Press (AP) report that Czech film director Jiří Menzel and former Czech Prime Minister Petr Pithart are among hundreds of artists and politicians from Central Europe who have called on the citizens and representatives of their countries to demonstrate solidarity with asylum-seekers. The AFP reports that Central European citizens frequently are antagonistic and sometimes hostile towards migrants coming to Europe.  full story

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Bulgarian NGOs get injunction suspending demolition of Roma homes in Peshtera

17.9.2015 20:48 A Bulgarian coalition of Romani NGOs called the National Roma Coalition "Intellect" has issued a press release in response to the advice given to the Bulgarian Government by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 15 September. The ECtHR has advised that “without a definite commitment on its part to ensure the accommodation of the vulnerable members of the applicants’ families before the demolition of their homes, the Court will, in application of Rule 39 of its Rules, indicate to that Government not to proceed with this measure”.
 full story

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Bulgaria and France reprimanded by UN Human Rights Commissioner over Roma displacement

12.9.2015 20:38 Yesterday the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on Bulgaria and France to stop forcibly clearing Romani encampments. The High Commissioner said that French authorities evidently have been engaging in a "systematic policy" of this practice since 2012.  full story

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