Militant Bulgarian nationalists visited the Czech Parliament this year
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.
In Bulgaria the movement allegedly runs training camps for militias from other European countries. Members of Shipka, an ultra-nationalist party in Bulgaria, visited the Czech lower house this June, where they photographed themselves together side-by-side with the chair of the Úsvit (Dawn) movement in the Czech Republic, Miroslav Lidinský, and its first vice-chair Marek Černoch.
The Prague appearance was attended by a representative of Germany's PEGIDA movement, Tatjana Festerling, who wore military clothing and stood side by side with Bulgarian extremists from the Military Union of Vasil Levski, with whom she has participated in chasing refugees at the Bulgarian-Turkish border not far from the town of Malko Tarnovo. Video footage of these chases after "aliens", as the refugees are called by the Bulgarian militia, capture the brutality of the Bulgarian right-wing extremists in their black balaclavas standing over handcuffed, terrified people lying on the ground, at whom the extremists shout: "Back to Turkey immediately!"
Julian Ivanov, Svyetlozar Minov and Ognyan Sarafov are some of the other members of the Bulgarian delegation who attended the appearance in the Czech lower house. Ivanov wore a belt with the insignia of the Bulgarian nationalist movement Shipka and was also one of the speakers at the Saint Václav demonstration that was held on 28 September 2016 in Prague by the Úsvit movement in cooperation with the Bloc against Islamization (BPI).
Ivanov is connected to members of the Czech militia as well as in contact with representatives of the German Islamophobic movement PEGIDA. It is certainly interesting to note that he shares posts through his Facebook page inviting people to events held on 20 April, Adolf Hitler's birthday.
The Bulgarian has also given speeches at demonstrations of the PEGIDA movement in Germany. A female member of a Czech militia who appears on Facebook under the nickname "Ashur Nanok" organizes a fundraising drive to buy winter clothing for the Bulgarian militia units.
"Nanok's" Facebook friends include the right-wing political scientist Petr Hampl; former Czech presidential candidate Jana "Ýngland" Hrušková, infamous for her remarks rejecting "race-mixing" and for giving a speech at the anti-EU demonstration held in Prague on 17 September 2016; Jaromír Pytel, a militant neo-Nazi from the White Power European Patriots group; and last but not least, Julian Ivanov, who also spoke on 28 September this year in Prague and at demonstrations by the PEGIDA movement in Germany. Nanok wears military clothing and regularly attends anti-Islam demonstrations in the Czech Republic as well as in Dresden, Germany.
The militantly-dressed neo-Nazi from Kolín, Radek Horyna, attends demonstrations side-by-side with Nanok. He attended the 17 September demonstration along with roughly 25 neo-Nazis from the Czech ultra-nationalist militant movement "Odin's Soldiers" and did his best to provoke conflict with a group of anarchists and anti-Fascists who came to the demonstration to express their disagreement with the nationalists.
Horyna also attended the 28 September demonstration in Prague this year. He is one of the Czech Republic's biggest admirers of neo-Nazis and of the founder of the British White Power group Screwdriver, founded by Ian Stuart Donaldson, who died in 1993 and became a musical icon of contemporary neo-Nazis, inspiring many White Power music groups.
On Facebook Horyna has written the following about Donaldson: "Today it's been 23 years since our brother and fighter Ian Stuart Donaldson left us forever. Your legacy lives on. If only you could be here to lead our fight for our cause, our nations and our people. We look up to the gates of Valhalla and we remember you with pain in our hearts. Your legacy lives on. MAY WE NEVER FORGET."
- President of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee assaulted in Sofia, says it was retribution for his human rights work
- Czech report on extremism: Regional elections behind significant growth in extreme-right activity
- Bulgarian man who abused Romani youth convicted of racially-motivated attack
- Commentary: Standing with Mitko against racist violence in Bulgaria
- Germany: Trial of right-wing extremist Lutz Bachmann of Pegida begins
- Roma children electrocuted while playing in a Belgrade settlement
- Bulgarian COVID-19 pandemic measures have closed Romani neighborhoods, causing job losses and food shortages
- Bulgaria: Scandal over EU-financed training to detect alleged "radicalization" of Roma, activists say money was used to boost anti-Romani sentiment
- "Czechs Are Helping" initiative to hold benefit Romani music concert to raise money for children in Greek refugee camps
- Amnesty International criticizes closures of Romani settlements in Bulgaria and Slovakia as part of COVID-19 response
- Bulgaria: Educational assistants on the front line help Romani children during COVID-19 crisis
- Bulgarian officials exploiting fear of COVID-19 to discriminate against Roma
- Czech ombudsman to control discrimination agenda, head of the legal section steps down to work for his deputy
- Czech PM will not personally fund Syrian orphanage, claims he is donating to existing ones instead
- Italian court upholds acquittal and exoneration of captain who rescued migrants
- Czech lower house will not discuss accepting unaccompanied minor refugees - ANO, Communists, SocDems and ultra-nationalists opposed it
- Academic Huub van Baar has found Romani people succeed on the labor market when given a chance