human rights

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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Report for Bulgaria from CPT 2012

Report on the visit to Bulgaria carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 10 May 2012 is already published officialy on the website  of Council of Europe. In pursuance of Article 7 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”), a delegation of the CPT visited Bulgaria from 4 to 10…

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From behind the walls of the Bulgarian prisons

About a year has passed since the violent rape gang assaulted, sexually molested and raped up to 10 victims in Sofia Central Prison’s 8th Group. Just by the passing of time all those involved including the Mayor-Prisoner (responsible prisoner for the group), the Social-Inspector, the guards posted to 8th Group and the perpetrators and victims have all moved on to different places in the national prison system. However not a single perpetrator was ever charged for the mass rapes that…

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BPRA waiting for registration

We are currently waiting for our association to be registered in the Sofia city court, a strange bulgarian law means all NGO’s have to be registered through the courts.So far the judge overlooking the registration has made no objection to the right of the association of prisoners and has requested that the associations president – Jock Palfreeman have his signature confirmed by witnesses as the court failed to call the founding members in person to the court hearing. The Bulgarian…

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