reforms

How to fight corruption? A response from BPRA

The minister of justice announced public discussion in combating corruption in the justice system. This is the response of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association. Proposal From Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association In connection with the ‘Public Discussion’ announced by the Minister of Justice Tsatcheva Amongst the topics for discussion are the following: Which organs (institutions) should battle corruption at the different levels of power? Should the local authorities join the law-enforcing authorities in their atni-corruption fight? What should be the correlation between…

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The New Bulgarian Penitentiary System Law

On the 7/2/2017 new laws governing the Bulgarian penitentiary system came into force as they were published in the government state newspaper. Although there is still a lot of work to do and no one sees the reforms as a silver bullet to the problems facing the Bulgarian prison system, the reforms are still massively progressive. The Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association is proud to boast that we partook in the drafting of the legislation and the public discussion periods with Valio…

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Police are the organized crime

Bulgaria has the second most Police per capita in Europe and the eighth most Police in the world. A conclusion could be drawn then that Bulgaria should be the second safest country in Europe and the eighth safest in the world and if you thought this, you would of course be very wrong. Any country can have a problem with crime; there are many different explanations for its cause and solution. The fascists like the Patriot Front would have you…

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Former Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov Defended the Prisons’ Reform and Attacked the Prosecution

Former Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov wrote in his Facebook profile, defending the reform in prisons and attacking the prosecution. This is what he wrote: “In America, ahead of one of the major presidential primaries, one of the candidates ran a TV ad telling the story of a man who killed somebody in his youth. He was sentenced to life in prison, but behind bars he found the strength to rehabilitate himself. He went to school, he helped others and was…

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BPRA Nominated for Human of the Year 2015

We have been nominated for Human of the Year 2015 in the annual contest of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. Here are the motives: Bulgarian Prisoners Rehabilitation Association (BPRA) directly defends the human rights of prisoners in Bulgaria. Though consequential work to reform the criminal justice system of Bulgaria, the human rights of all Bulgarian citizens are enhanced. The BPRA is uniquely a NGO for prisoners that seeks to reconcile the operation of Bulgarian prisons with international obligations to human rights for…

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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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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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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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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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