Roma in Bulgaria Threaten to Burn Themselves to Death


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Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 20:43:01 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Roma in Bulgaria Threaten to Burn Themselves to Death

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

Original sender: Claude Cahn <ClaudeCahn@compuserve.com>

Roma in Bulgaria Threaten to Burn Themselves to Death


Seventeen Roma are threatening to burn themselves to death in Lom,
Bulgaria
 
According to Bulgarian press sources, seventeen Roma intend to burn
themselves to death tomorrow in the northwestern Bulgarian town of
Lom. According to an article appearing in the Bulgarian daily
Kontinent on May 28, five Romani men in the city set up a tent in
front of the offices of the municipality on Monday, May 25, and began
a hunger strike. An article in the daily Montpress on May 29 reported
that the Roma are protesting discrimination by municipal authorities
and unkept promises by the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) political
party. The Roma state that they have not received social benefits
since the beginning of the year. In addition, a range of promises
allegedly made by then-UDF candidate and subsequent member of
parliament Dimitar Dimitrov concerning job creation, offered during
the election campaign in spring 1997, have not been fulfilled. One of
the men is tubercular and reportedly has not received adequate
treatment because he has no means to pay.  The daily 24 Chasa reported
on May 29 that an additional twelve Roma had joined the original group
of five. They state that they will burn themselves to death on
Saturday, May 30, at noon. A petition with 1200 signatures has been
gathered, demanding the resignation of Mr Dimitrov.  24 Chasa reported
that one of the striking Romani men had passed out and been taken for
emergency treatment.

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