MINELRES: Bulgaria: Due to the Intereferention of HRP an Investigation on Incitement of Ethnic Hatred Against Roma was Resumed

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Jul 29 19:02:50 2004

Original sender: Emil Cohen <emilcohen@mbox.cit.bg> 

Human Rights Project*

Bulgaria: A Regional Prosecutor’s Office Canceled an Act of the Lower
Prosecutor’s Office for Cessation of the Investigation on Incitement
Racial Hatred against Roma due to the intervention of Human Rights

Sofia, July 19 – On July 15 the Blagoevgrad Regional Prosecutor Ms.
Evgenia Stoianova canceled the Act of the Razlog’s District Prosecutor’s
Office by that the pending investigation against unknown perpetrator for
incitement of ethnic hatred in Razlog in the time of the recent local

As HRP informed (see the Press Release of HRP
http://lists.delfi.lv/pipermail/minelres/2003-December/003078.html ) at
the 2003 local elections the Roma took much more seats in the
Municipality Councils than at the previous local elections. At the same
time the campaign in 2003 was accompanied by a lot of anti Roma calls in
some towns. There the voters were called on to vote against some
candidates, because these candidates would work in favor of Roma . The
strongest calls in that directions were seen in Samokov and Razlog (two
small Bulgarian towns with relatively big Roma population in each of
them). Human Rights Project had been informed by some Roma leaders from
these places and has sent complaints to the local Prosecutor’s offices
about the incitement of ethnic hatred against Roma. These acts present
by themselves crimes according to the Art. 162 – 164 of the Bulgarian
Penal Code. The two Prosecutor’s offices has begun investigations
against unknown perpetrators. The investigation in Samokov has gone on. 

On June 18, 2004 the Razlog’s local Prosecutor Ms. Aishe Ibrahim
Djembazka sent us an enactment for ‘Refusal for Establishing a
Preliminary Criminal Jurisdiction’ because of ‘lack of data about
perpetrated crimes’. All of this was written by the Prosecutor although
we sent her not only our complaint but also a lot of pictures as well as
copies of the disseminated leaflets. Human Rights Project immediately
sent an appeal to the higher Prosecutor’s Office. On July 15 HRP was
informed by the Blagoevgrad’s District Prosecutor Mrs. Evgenia Stoianova
that she has repealed the enactment of the lower Prosecutor’s Office on
the cessation of the preliminary investigation on the indictment of
racist hatred. She wrote that ‘the preliminary examination carried out
by the Razlog’s prosecutor has been uncompleted’. It also ‘has been
performed in a perfunctory manner’. Because of this the Blagoevgrad
District Prosecutor ordered to the Razlog’s Prosecutor’ Office to
perform an additional examination. By the same enactment our appeal
against the decision of the Razlog’s Prosecutor Ms. Aishe Ibrahim
Djembazka was ruled in favor of Human Rights Project. 

By that way the investigation on the case of dissemination of leaflets
with racist content in Razlog will be continued. Human Rights Project
hopes that the new investigation ruled by the higher prosecutor will
finish by finding of the perpetrators. We hope also that the Court will
sentence them in accordance with the requirements of the Bulgarian Penal
Code. It provides a punishment up to six years imprisonment for
indictment of race hatred. 

On behalf of HRP:

Emil Cohen


*Human Rights Project was established in the summer of 1992 as a
non-profit organization focusing on monitoring the human rightssituation
of the Roma in Bulgaria, and on legal defense in cases of serious human
rights abuses. The HRP monitors the human rights situation of the Roma
community in Bulgaria and reports on the cases which it had
investigated; works with Roma volunteers from all over the country who
report on the human rights observation in their region; conduct
independent extrajudicial investigation into allegations of human rights
violations against Roma; hire lawyers to take up selected cases and
monitors the process of legal defense; advocates legislative and policy
changes in favor of Roma.

Ivan Ivanov is Chair of the Board of HRP. 

Dimitrina Petrova, Dimitar Georgiev, Mitio Kemalov and Rumian Russinov
are members of the Board.

Emil Cohen emilcohen@mbox.cit.bg is Executive Director.

Our address: 23 Solunska St., 6th floor, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria

Tel./fax: (+359 2) 986 35 46 and (+359 2) 981 50 66;

E-mail: hrproject@mbox.cit.bg and hrp@netel.bg

Emil Cohen
Human Rights Project
Executive Director1000 Sofia, 23 Solunska Str.
Phone/fax: (+359 2) 98150 66; GSM: (+359) 0888335707