refugees

Bulgarian state supports racist groups which are hunting for migrants

Since the private TV station bTV reported about people who are patroling with All-terrain vehicles through the border region of Bulgaria and calling their leader a national hero, more groups popped up in public which claim for arresting the migrants who crossed to Turkish-Bulgarian border. Although, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee called for prosecution of the case. The prime minister, Boyko Borissov, thanked in a statement these patrols: I personally talked with them [the voluntary patrols] and thank them. I send the director of the…

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Legal and organizational problems in Bulgaria’s closed camps

At the moment, there are three camps of a closed type existing in Bulgaria. The buildings, which are administered from the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), provide 1,040 places: The Detention Center in Busmantsi has 400, the Detention Center in Lyubimets (since recently) 400 and the Detention Center in Elhovo has 240 places. In these accommodation facilities unaccompanied minors are being held illegally, which was reported by the Ombudsman some days ago. A recent statement, done by the Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria (CLA), confirmed the report.…

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Asylum Seekers inform yourselves

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 who cross the…

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Asylum Seekers and Dinko Valev

There is a so called “Refugee Hunter” called Dinko Valev who has become infamous within Bulgaria and the EU for assaulting and illegally detaining asylum seekers who he finds having entered Bulgaria from the Turkish border. There are also other far right groups who are copying the actions of the “Refugee Hunter” such as the organisation ‘Association for the Protection of Bulgarians’. Recently groups of far right and neo-nazi organizations have raised Valev to the status of a hero 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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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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Asylum seekers criminalized by the law in 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 who cross the…

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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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