Bulgaria: Human Rights Project on eviction of Roma


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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 16:33:11 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Bulgaria: Human Rights Project on eviction of Roma

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Human Rights Project <hrproject@mbox.cit.bg>

Bulgaria: Human Rights Project on eviction of Roma     


On March 5, 2001, the HRP sent a letter to the Mayor of the Sofia
Municipality Mr. Stefan Sofianski to express concern about intentions
of municipal authorities in Sofia to evict inhabitants of houses in
the "Assanova Mahala" in the Lyulin area in Sofia.
 
Honourable Mr. Sofianski,
 
The Human Rights Project in Bulgaria is a non-governmental
organisation established in 1994. Major activities of the organisation
are monitoring Roma rights situation in Bulgaria, as well as providing
legal defence of Roma victims of human rights violation. Our primary
aim is to advocate Roma rights on behalf of the Roma community in
Bulgaria. Owing to that we establish contacts with and mediate between
governmental and local authorities and the Roma community.
 
The occasion for our letter was the declared by the municipal
authorities in Sofia intentions to evict inhabitants of houses in the
"Assanova Mahala" in the Lyulin area in Sofia. Our major concern was
brought about by an article in the newspaper "24 Chasa"(March 5,
2001), where two different versions of possible reasons for the
eviction of the Roma are pointed out as it follows: agreed by the
mayor of the Lyulin area, Mr. Ivan Afionliev, the Roma need to move
out from the houses since a hyper-market is planned to be built there.
This very much coincides with the information the HRP was provided by
the there living Roma. Furthermore, according to the newspaper, you
have stated that it was due to a number of complaints against Roma
filed with you by the non-Roma neighbours of the Roma.
 
The Human Rights Project is determined that whatever the reasons for
the eviction of the Roma from their houses might be, the actions
should abide legal documents and procedures, including regulations of
the Sofia municipality. As you most probably know, there is a civil
case in court going on about a part of the terrain where there are
Roma houses built on, and the decision of that case will be of an
importance for the legal status of that part and the constructions on
it.
 
The Human Rights Project will follow the development of the case about
the eviction of the Roma due to the fact that it is of a social
significance, and we will undertake legal actions necessary for the
human rights defence of the there living Roma.
 
We believe that we are not the only ones who aim at the positive
solution of that case, but you do as well. Since convinced that the
only way to resolve similar problems in our democratic society is to
have a public dialogue, we would like to ask you to meet you and
representatives of the local authorities, in order to discuss over the
current problems and to work for the prevention of future ones.
 
Sincerely,
 
Executive Director,
Dilyana Giteva
 
The Human Rights Project is a non-profit, non-governmental
organization for the protection of Roma rights in Bulgaria. The major
target of the activities of the Human Rights Project since its
establishment has been the Roma community in Bulgaria, and our efforts
for the upcoming years will be directed towards promotion of respect
for the fundamental rights of Roma people; empowerment of the Roma
through the legal system; and contributing to integration of Roma in
society by support of Roma non-profit organizations, which are
adequate to the new conditions and effective in making difference with
respect to the position of Roma in Bulgarian society.
 
Major activities of the HRP include: 1) field-research into cases of
human rights violations against Roma, documentation of the cases and
reporting; 2) legal representation and legal services on behalf of
Roma victims of human rights abuse; 3) human rights education of
volunteer human rights monitors from the Roma community throughout the
country; 4) public advocacy on behalf of Roma rights carried out
through various forms such as: publications about the human rights
situation of Roma and the process of legal advocacy; public
discussions with law-enforcement and other authorities; letters of
concern to the competent institutions; press conferences;
participation in international forums of intergovernmental and
non-governmental NGOs, focusing on the problems of Roma in Europe; and
promotion of Roma participation in the public processes through the
media.
 
Human Rights Project
23, Solunska St., 6th fl.
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria1386
 
Tel./Fax: (+3592) 9815066, 9863546
E-mail: hrproject@mbox.cit.bg

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