News

BPRA Here To Stay!

Imprisonment over the conviction time There have been numerous calls for some information to escape the prison walls of Sofia Central and I hope I can appease these requests for information although I am not sure what people will find interesting. Daily I am continuing my university degree via correspondence that was guaranteed after a 30 day hunger strike by the Ministry of Justice in May 2013. My marks are good and steady despite the lack of internet and source…

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The incident of 17th October 2013

On the Association’s blog I have up until now not written much if anything about myself in an attempt to keep the Association’s blog neutral and equal for all issues and prisoners in Bulgaria and specifically Sofia Central Prison. However, I have done this as the expense of not reporting the prisons attacks against myself for my unionism and solidarity with other prisoners, in an attempt to reform the corrupt prison administration, however on Thursday 17th of October an incident…

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News from September 2013

Illegal Immigrants On Thursday the 5/9/2013 a Syrian man convicted to a year in maximum security prison for illegal border crossing was pardoned by the President of Bulgaria. Normally this would be a time of celebration and joy; however it has infuriated all the other illegal immigrants that are left in maximum security Sofia Central Prison. On Friday the 6/9/2013 about 40 illegal immigrants held a meeting in the prison’s yard during their scheduled time allowance, at first the prisoners…

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Bulgaria needs a strong government that…

Bulgaria needs a strong government that can push through reforms… Prison Guards Shift Change From all the complaints from the prison guards, the bureaucracy has won again. The old shift time table has been reinstated and the guards are now working 24hour shifts again. This is typical of such a weak government that they crumble under the pressure from the guards despite it being a reasonable and recommended reform to reduce the amount of hours work by prison guards. One unforseen…

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Guards’ Protest at Sofia Central Prison

From the begging of May the guards in Bulgarian prisons and arrests (remand prisons) have been protesting a change to their work conditions. Previously they worked 24 hour shifts, then they had 3 days off, now they must work 12 hour shifts with 24 hours off. A 24 hour shift might sound like too much work and the reduction to a 12 hour shift would probably appear to most people as an improvement in work place conditions, however the guards…

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After the Elections in Bulgaria

The Association sent out invitations to political parties in the lead up to the elections which were on the 12/May/2013. However not a single party responded with their policies for prison and Justice institutional reforms. There could be many reasons why political parties ignored our requests for information about their Justice reform policies. However one reason favoured over others is that all Bulgarian political parties are afraid to be seen as “helping prisoners” or the party being labelled “the prisoners’…

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Asylum seekers criminalized by the law in Bulgaria

(photo: Bordermonitoring Bulgaria) Since about mid 2010 Sofia Central Prison has been filling up with asylum seekers, this is as they are entering Bulgaria their rights are not only being ignored but are being purposefully denied by the police, prosecutors’ office and the courts. According to Article 279(5) of the criminal law asylum seekers are protected from criminal prosecution when crossing the borders without permission. However the criminal justice system in many cases ignores the protected status of asylum seekers…

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Prisoners’ Complains followed by Repressions in Sofia Central Prison

Early April the director of Sofia Central Prison, Peter Krestev was appointed acting director of the national prison body. Soon after on the 11th April Yanko Vatashki was released from the isolation unit and returned to a general wing. The former acting vice director is now acting director of Sofia Central Prison. Returning Yanko to the general wings was a good beginning for the new acting director, but obviously not nearly enough. On the 11/3/2013 a guard assaulted a Chechen…

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Death of Free Speech

On the 15th of March 2013 the Sofia riot police entered Sofia Central Prison, they were reacting to an alert that the Director – Peter Krestev sent out due to an unprecedented amount of written and signed complaints against the prison’s conditions and indeed the Director himself, with many prisoners calling for him to be dismissed by parliament. After writing a list of wanted changes Yanko Vatashki was immediately sent to isolation after his cell was ransacked. Yanko’s only guilt…

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Attack upon prisoners in Sofia Central Prison

On the 18th of January 2013 Officer in Command (OC) Mitko Spasov, led a brutal and vicious attack upon 2 prisoners in 13th group Sofia Central Prison. At around 2pm Mitko with about 10 other guards ran into 13th group with batons drawn. 13th group at the time was peaceful and quiet; there were no problems or violence before the guards entered. The guards took Martin Pekov a Bulgarian and started beating him as they had information that he had…

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