HRP Letter of concern: ethnically motivated attacks against Roma


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Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 15:43:22 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: HRP Letter of concern: ethnically motivated attacks against Roma

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

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

HRP Letter of concern: ethnically motivated attacks against
Roma 


Letter of a Concern from the Human Rights Project, Bulgaria
 
To the attention of the Interior Minister, Georgi Petkanov
Copy to the Regional Police Department in Samokov
 
Dear Mr. Minister,
 
The Human Rights Project (HRP) is a non-governmental public interest
organization, which was established in 1992. Major activities of the
organization are to conduct independent investigation of cases of
human rights abuse against Roma, to provide legal defense for Roma
victims of human rights violations on ethnic basis, to make similar
cases public.
 
On September 18th, 2001 the HRP was signaled that there is an
ethnically motivated attack against Roma from the town of Samokov. On
September 19, 2001 representatives of the HRP conducted independent
investigation of the case.

On September 15, 2001, at about 2:30 a.m. the two Roma Lyubomir
Metodiev and Alexander Iliev, both of them living in the Roma
neighborhood in the town of Samokov (with a population of 7,000
people) went to a night shop situated to Bus station "Yug" (South) in
the central part of the town. They were attacked there by some 20
young Bulgarians, as part of the attackers were skinheads armed with
axes and baseball bats. Metodiev was hit with an axe at his right
hand, and managed to escape, and Iliev was severely beaten which
resulted in brain and other injuries all over the body. During the
assault the attackers cursed the Roma.

Immediately after the attack Iliev was hospitalized in the emergency
ward in Samokov in a deteriorated health condition. On September 19,
2001 he was not released from hospital. Metodiev had a wound in his
right hand, which imposed medical intervention.

On September 19 and 20, 2001 the HRP was informed that a group of
young Bulgarians attacked a 13-year-old Roma pupil, who was severely
injured in the face.

The Human Rights Project is concerned about the fact that the Regional
Police Department takes no measures in investigating the case. We
believe that the Roma in the town of Samokov have not been granted
their human rights prevention. The refusal of the police to provide
equal protection and to stand up for its rights is a clear evidence of
discriminatory treatment of the Roma in the town. That is why we
address you to adopt the necessary measures in order to guarantee
human rights prevention of the Roma and the ethnic peace in the town
of Samokov. We would also insist on conducting exhaustive, unbiased
and objective investigation of the mentioned above cases on behalf of
the state.

The HRP considers that the pointed data and the testimonies of the
local Roma complaining from the increased ethnic hatred against Roma,
as well as the lack of adequate measures on part of police authorities
impose the necessity of the Police and other municipal and state
authorities adopting measures.

Dilyana Giteva
Executive Director
Human Rights Project, Bulgaria

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