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Urgent Interventions

Bulgaria: attacks against Roma persons

Case BGR 080502
Attacks against Roma persons

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Bulgaria.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor of a racially motivated attack against a group of around 15 Roma, on April 16th, 2002, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

According to the information received, on April 16th, 2002 a group of about 15 Roma, among them women and children, was attacked when returning from a religious meeting at Benkovsky stadium. When the Roma were close to the police school, a group of about five or six people came out of a jeep. Some more people joined them in the streets and together they attacked the Roma. The assailants were reportedly armed with bats, chains and knuckle-dusters. One of the perpetrators has been identified as Marko Valev, the identities of the other aggressors remain unknown.

According to the report, five people were beaten and had to be taken to a hospital. Among them were Atanas I. (18 years-old), Metody G. (20 years-old) and, Assen A. (32 years-old), all of whom have medical certificated which identify multiple wounds including possible stab-wounds (“puncture traumas”). During the attack, some people from a nearby house came to the assistance of the Roma persons in question, having been alerted by their cries, and helped them to repel the assailants. The people who had been beaten up denounced the attack at the local police station.

According to the information received, this incident represents yet another case of racially motivated attacks against Roma persons in Bulgaria. A previous case of such attacks happened on February 2nd, 2002, when three people reportedly assaulted six young Roma, among them two girls. Following this attack, Dimiter Sh. and Dimiter M. had to be hospitalised with bullet wounds. It is reported that there have been more than 20 cases of assaults against Roma persons during the last year in Bulgaria.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by the attacks against Roma persons, as they are violent acts of discrimination that are in violation of these persons’ human rights. OMCT calls on the Bulgarian authorities to carry out an impartial investigation into these events, and ensure that the perpetrators of this attack do not enjoy impunity.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Bulgaria urging them to:

· order a thorough and impartial investigation into the reports of these events, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
· guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to all persons that were injured during these events;
· guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


· Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, 1, Dondukov Blvd, 1123, Sofia, Bulgaria, Fax: (+359)-2-981 8170, E-mail:

· Anton Stankov, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 1, Slavyanska Str. 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria, Fax: (+359)-2-987 4058, E-mail:

· Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2, Dondukov Blvd., 1123 Sofia, Fax:(+359)-2-987 5601, E-mail:

Please also write to the embassies of Bulgaria in your respective country.

Geneva, May 8th, 2002

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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