Last Updated: Friday, 22 August 2014, 15:07 GMT

Bulgaria: Violence against Roma, including by extremist groups; state protection and treatment by police (2008-2012)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 16 October 2012
Citation / Document Symbol BGR104199.E
Related Document Bulgarie : information sur la violence contre les Roms, y compris celle infligée par des groupes extrémistes; la protection offerte par l'État et le traitement que leur réserve la police (2008-2012)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bulgaria: Violence against Roma, including by extremist groups; state protection and treatment by police (2008-2012), 16 October 2012, BGR104199.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50a9ed2f2.html [accessed 23 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Violence Against Roma

Sources indicate that Roma in Bulgaria have been victims of racist attacks (People Against Racism 11 Feb. 2012; BHC 18 Sept. 2012; ENAR Mar. 2012, 36). Minority Rights Group International (MRG) reports that mistreatment of Roma in Bulgaria remains a "grave concern" (2012, 178), while the Sofia-based human rights organization Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) indicates that bias-motivated crimes against Roma are "widespread" (29 July 2010, 3). In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the Director of BHC said that hate crimes against Roma are a problem, and that they are perpetrated by both police officers and private citizens (BHC 18 Sept. 2012). He explained that such crimes are sometimes the result of individual disputes, while at other times they are instigated by skinheads or other hate groups (ibid.).

According to the European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS), in which 500 Roma respondents in Bulgaria were interviewed in 2008, 5 percent of the Roma surveyed indicated that they had been victims of an assault, threat or "serious harassment" within the past 12 months; in contrast, other eastern European countries surveyed ranged from 15 to 36 percent of respondents (EU 2009, 4, 8). Of the Bulgarian Roma victims, 88 percent did not report the crime to the police (ibid.).

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), an international public interest law organization that has consultative status with the UN and the Council of Europe (ERRC and People in Need Mar. 2011, 90), using information compiled from media reports, indicates that at least 3 Roma were killed, at least 22 Roma sustained injuries, and at least 5 Roma were hospitalized, as a result of attacks in Bulgaria between September 2011 and July 2012 (ERRC 31 July 2012). Some incidents of violence, as recorded by NGO and media sources, include:

  • In June 2010, 20 skinheads attacked people of Roma origin with glass bottles and bats following a concert (ENAR Mar. 2012, 36; Sofia News Agency 10 June 2010).
  • In November 2010, a group of neo-Nazis attacked and "severely injured" two young Roma following a football match (People Against Racism 12 Feb. 2011).
  • In December 2010, skinheads attacked 2 young Roma men with bats when the Roma were exiting public transportation (ERRC 5 May 2011).
  • On 1 November 2011, a group of approximately 12 neo-Nazi skinheads attacked two Roma on a bus in Sofia (ERRC 31 July 2012; People Against Racism 4 Nov. 2011). One Roma sustained a head injury and was in intensive care in the hospital (ibid.).
  • In April 2012, locals in the village of Pravishte attacked the residence of visiting Roma workers from a nearby village leading to a mass fight between the two groups (Sofia News Agency 14 Apr. 2012).
  • On 29 June 2012 in Sandanski, a bomb was placed at the headquarters of Euroroma (Sofia News Agency 29 June 2012; Romea.cz 1 Aug. 2012), Bulgaria's largest pro-Roma political party (ibid.). The bomb tore off the arm of one Roma man who had been a candidate for the party in a municipal election (ibid.; Sofia News Agency 29 June 2012). The man died and four youths who belonged to a nationalist group were subsequently arrested for the crime (Romea.cz 1 Aug. 2012).

1.1 September 2011 Anti-Roma Protests

Several sources report that anti-Roma protests occurred throughout Bulgaria in September 2011 (BHC Mar. 2012, 47; MRG 2012, 180; TOL 6 Oct. 2011). The demonstrations were set off by an incident that occurred in the village of Katunitsa, where a 19-year-old Bulgarian was killed by a Roma man allegedly linked to Kiril Rashkov (also known as Tsar Kiro) (ibid.; BHC Mar. 2012, 47; The Economist 8 Oct. 2011). Sources describe Rashkov as an alleged Roma "crime boss" (US 24 May 2012, 21; MRG 2012, 180), "Roma clan boss" (AFP 2 Oct. 2011), or "local shady Roma businessman" (BHC Mar. 2012, 47). The demonstrations reportedly began in protest against the impunity of Rashkov and other criminals (AFP 2 Oct. 2011; EIU 30 Sept. 2011; The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011).

Several sources report that the rallies became anti-Roma (ibid.; EIU 30 Sept. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011). Protestors shouted racist slogans, including "'Gypsies into glue'" (EIU 30 Sept. 2011), "'Turn the Gypsies into soap'" (BHC Mar. 2012, 47) and "'Death to the Gypsies'" (ibid.). Some protestors wore anti-Roma T-shirts (The Economist 8 Oct. 2011; TOL 6 Oct. 2011), with slogans such as "'We do not want to live in a gypsy state'" (ibid.). Others reportedly carried anti-Roma banners, with slogans such as "'We don't want to pay for Gypsies'" (AFP 2 Oct. 2011).

BHC and MRG indicate that the far-right political party Ataka organized some anti-Roma demonstrations that occurred in September 2011 (MRG 2012, 180; BHC Mar. 2012, 47). The Economist notes that Ataka distributed anti-Roma T-shirts and pamphlets during the protests (8 Oct. 2011).

Sources indicate that the protesters were predominantly young (EIU 30 Sept. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011) and included: teenagers (TOL 6 Oct. 2011); football supporters (HS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011; The Economist 8 Oct. 2011; AFP 2 Oct. 2011); students (ibid.); members of far-right groups (The Economist 8 Oct. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011; BHC Mar. 2012, 47); and non-party extremists (ibid.).

Sources indicate that there were demonstrations in 14 towns and cities (The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011; UN 4 Oct. 2011), including: Sofia (AFP 2 Oct. 2011; The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011); Plovdiv (AFP 2 Oct. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011); Varna (AFP 2 Oct. 2011; IHS Global Insight 27 Sept. 2011); Burgas (ERRC 31 July 2012) and Blagoevgrad (ibid.; AFP 29 Sept. 2011). Thousands of people throughout Bulgaria protested (EIU 30 Sept. 2011; AFP 2 Oct. 2011), including approximately 500 people of a total population of 2,300 in Katunitsa (The Telegraph 25 Sept. 2011); 2,000 people (AFP 2 Oct. 2011) to 2,200 people in Sofia (The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011); and over 2,000 people in Plovdiv (AFP 2 Oct. 2011). Demonstrations reportedly lasted for more than a week (ibid.; US 24 May 2012, 21).

Some rioters reportedly damaged property (ibid.; BHC Mar. 2012, 47; EIU 30 Sept. 2011), including setting fire to Roma-owned shops (ibid.), and burning or vandalizing Roma homes and other Roma-owned property (BHC Mar. 2012, 47). In Katunitsa, a mob set several of Kiril Rashkov's houses on fire and damaged his cars (The Telegraph 25 Sept. 2011; The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011; EIU 30 Sept. 2011). According to BHC, the police did not act to constrain these actions against Rashkov's properties (Mar. 2012, 47). The UN Committee Against Torture similarly expressed concern that the police sometimes did not prevent the destruction of property during the riots (UN 14 Dec. 2011, para. 28). Agence France-Presse (AFP) notes that some protestors were armed with batons and knives and some tried to break into Roma neighbourhoods, particularly in Varna (2 Oct. 2011).

According to BHC, several Roma were attacked and injured during the protests (Mar. 2012, 47). However, the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 states that few injuries were reported by media (US 24 May 2012, 21). In Blagoevgrad, a group of young people reportedly assaulted and injured a Roma father and his son following the demonstrations (AFP 29 Sept. 2011; ERRC 31 July 2012). The ERRC, referencing Bulgarian media sources, also reports that following an anti-Roma rally in Burgas, a group of 30 to 40 alleged skinheads assaulted 5 Roma, including a pregnant woman (ibid.).

Sources report that hundreds of protestors were arrested (EIU 30 Sept. 2011; The Wall Street Journal 29 Sept. 2011; US 24 May 2012, 21). According to Country Reports 2011, at the end of 2011, the prosecution had opened fourteen cases of "xenophobia" in connection to the rallies, and convicted one person for creating a website calling for the killing of Roma (ibid.). Similarly, in September 2012, the BHC director said that the only person who was punished in connection to the anti-Roma violence during the rallies was a person who started a facebook group called "Kill the Gypsies"; he was convicted for incitement of hatred and was fined (BHC 18 Sept. 2012).

1.2 Human Trafficking

Sources indicate that Roma in Bulgaria are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking (US June 2012, 99; UN 14 Dec. 2011, para. 27; ERRC and People in Need Mar. 2011, 33). In a study about the prevalence of trafficking among Roma, the ERRC and the NGO People in Need state that Roma in Bulgaria have been subject to human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced begging, and illegal adoption (ibid.). Although Roma comprise approximately 10 percent of the population of Bulgaria, ERRC notes that Roma are estimated to comprise between 50 and 80 percent of Bulgarians trafficked for sexual exploitation and 70 percent of those trafficked for labour exploitation or illegal adoption (ibid.). According to the US Department of State's Trafficking in Persons Report 2012, Bulgarian authorities conducted outreach campaigns on the prevention of trafficking to Roma, and other vulnerable communities (US June 2012, 99).

2. Extremist Groups and Political Parties

Sources note a rise in far-right extremism in Bulgaria (ENAR Mar. 2012, 35; Deutsche Welle 4 Dec. 2011). Sources report that there are extremist groups in Bulgaria that promote anti-Roma sentiment (ibid.; Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 45; BIRN 9 June 2011).

For example, the Bulgarian National Guard, which was established in 2007, states its mission as guarding Bulgarians against Roma "'terror'" (Sofia News Agency 9 May 2010; Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 45). According to the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, members are uniformed and receive paramilitary training (ibid.). However, the Sofia News Agency states that the paramilitary section of the Guard was outlawed (Sofia News Agency 9 May 2010). This information could not be corroborated among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. According to the Commissioner, the Guard participates in a weekly television show and publishes a monthly newspaper, but authorities "rarely" punish them for their anti-Roma rhetoric (ibid.). According to Sofia News Agency, charges were brought against the leader of the Guard for making anti-Roma statements on television, such as calling Roma people "gypsy parasites," but he was acquitted of the discrimination charge by the Supreme Administrative Court, who claimed that his statements reflected the reality of the situation in Bulgaria (9 May 2010).

Members of the Guard are also part of the Bulgarian National Union, which was established in 2001 (Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 45). People Against Racism, an NGO established in 2010 to combat far-right extremism in Bulgaria (ENAR Mar. 2012, 38), explains that the Bulgarian National Union claims to be the successor of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, the leading fascist organization of the 1940s (People Against Racism 12 Feb. 2011). The Bulgarian National Union reportedly promotes anti-Roma sentiment (ibid. 5 Feb. 2012; Sofia News Agency 9 May 2010). They have organized marches, such as the annual Lukov March, which began in 2005 in honour of the founder of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, General Hristo Lukov, who promoted fascism and served as Bulgaria's Minister of War from 1935-1938 (People Against Racism 12 Feb. 2011). In 2010, the Lukov March drew in more than 200 people (ibid.). According to the Sofia News Agency, it drew in approximately 1,000 participants in 2012 (Sofia News Agency 18 Feb. 2012).

People Against Racism also mention Blood and Honor as an illegal neo-Nazi organization, and National Resistance as another example of an underground fascist group (People Against Racism 12 Feb. 2011). These two groups also participate in the Lukov Marches (ibid. 5 Feb. 2012). Further information about these groups could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The political party Ataka [also known as National Union "Attack" (PPW 2009, 86; Political Handbook of the World 20112011, 86)], is described as "ultra-nationalistic" (ibid.), "far-right nationalist" (BIRN 9 June 2011), "extremist" (Deutsche Welle 4 Dec. 2011) and "xenophobic" (BHC Mar. 2012, 47). Sources indicate that the party promotes anti-Roma sentiments (BIRN 9 June 2011; PPW 2009, 86). It was reportedly formed in 2005 (Deutsche Welle 4 Dec. 2011; BIRN 9 June 2011; PPW 2009, 86). Ataka finished fourth in both the 2005 and 2009 elections, securing 21 seats in both years; the party also won 2 seats in the 2009 election for the European Parliament (Political Handbook of the World 2011 2011, 86).

3. State Protection

Sources indicate that Bulgaria has anti-discrimination legislation, but it is insufficiently enforced in cases of discrimination against Roma (Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 90; MRG 2012, 180), creating a "sense of impunity" (ibid.). The UN Human Rights Committee similarly notes that there is "poor enforcement" of anti-discrimination laws and laws against hate speech (UN 19 Aug. 2011, para. 9). Although public incitement to violence or hatred based on ethnic origin is illegal as part of the EU Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia, which was implemented on 28 November 2010, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) says that it is rarely applied, and indicates that according to a report by the Bulgaria's Commission for Protection Against Discrimination, only two sentences were rendered --one against a Turk and one against a Roma, both of whom were charged with instigating hatred against ethnic Bulgarians (ENAR Mar. 2012, 40). ENAR is a network of European NGOs that combats racism and promotes anti-racist policy development in the EU (ENAR n.d.).

The BHC director noted that a provision was added to the Bulgarian law to specifically punish crimes that are motivated by ethnic prejudice, but that since its introduction in 2011, no one has been convicted on these grounds because the police and prosecutors ignore this law and do not properly investigate these crimes (BHC 18 Sept. 2012).

3.1 Commission for Protection Against Discrimination

According to the ERRC, the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination (CPD) was reportedly established in 2005, as a requirement of the EU, to examine individual complaints of rights violations based on discrimination (ERRC Aug. 2010, Sec. 2.2). However, in 2010, the scope of the CPD was reduced from nine commissioners to seven commissioners (ibid.). The Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) noted that according to the CPD, the organization had local branches in 18 out of 28 districts, but that it did not have the finances to open the additional 10 branches (Council of Europe 7 Dec. 2011, 5). According to the 2010 annual report of the CPD, 838 complaints and signals were filed with the Commission in 2010, of which 268 were scheduled for consideration (Bulgaria n.d.d., 2). Of those, 22 cases related to discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin (ibid., 4). The CPD reportedly delivered decisions on fourteen cases related to discrimination based on ethnicity and one on race, including three instructions to public authorities, and one finding of "indirect discrimination" (ibid., 6). The report did not specify whether any of the claims related to individuals of Roma ethnicity (ibid.).

The National Roma Integration Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2020) includes plans to promote intolerance to discrimination and hate speech among the public and in state institutions; to increase the capacity of law enforcement authorities to combat ethnically motivated crime, discrimination and hate speech; and to improve efforts to combat human trafficking (Bulgaria n.d.a, Sec. 5). The BHC director indicated that, as part of a project funded by the EU, police officers across Bulgaria are receiving training about anti-discrimination and interaction with ethnic minorities (BHC 18 Sept. 2012).

3.2 Police

According to the EU-MIDIS report, 14 percent of the Roma surveyed were stopped by the police within the past 12 months in Bulgaria (EU 2009, 10-11). Of those, 12 percent believed that they were stopped because of their Roma ethnicity, while 81 percent did not think that their ethnicity was the issue and the remainder were not sure (ibid.). In addition, 25 percent of Roma stopped by border control agents believed that they were stopped because of their Roma ethnicity (ibid., 11). EU-MIDIS describe the Roma in Bulgaria as "more isolated from mainstream society" than Roma in many other eastern European countries (ibid., 12). This relative isolation, notes EU-MIDIS, may have resulted in them having less exposure to police (ibid., 10).

Sources indicate that police in Bulgaria have subjected Roma to:

  • Mistreatment (BHC 18 Sept. 2012);
  • Physical abuse (ibid.; Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 76);
  • Harassment (ibid.);
  • Racially motivated discrimination (UN 19 Aug. 2011, para. 8);
  • Excessive use of force (Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 76; BHC 29 July 2010, 5);
  • Excessive use of firearms (BHC 29 July 2010, 5; ERRC Aug. 2010, Sec. 3.2);
  • Ethnic profiling (ENAR Mar. 2012, 33; Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 81);
  • Arbitrary confiscation and/or destruction of property (ibid., 84);
  • and arbitrary detention (ibid., 85).

The BHC indicates that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found that there is discrimination in the investigation of racially motivated killings of Roma in Bulgaria, including by police and individuals (BHC 29 July 2010, 3). In January of 2010, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in Sashov v. Bulgaria, found that the police used "extensive and disproportionate" force during the arrest of three Roma men in 2001, amounting to "inhuman and degrading treatment" and that the Bulgarian authorities failed to adequately investigate the complaint of mistreatment (ERRC 11 Jan. 2010).

ENAR reports that there is "institutional reluctance to investigate crimes committed against Roma persons" (ENAR Mar. 2012, 33). Similarly, the ERRC stated that "little or no action is taken" for most cases of racially motivated crimes (ERRC Aug. 2010, Sec. 2.5). The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern that there have been no prosecution cases in which police officers have been sanctioned for racially motivated abuse, allowing for "impunity for police officers involved in human rights violations" (UN 19 Aug. 2011, para. 8). ENAR also reports that, according to a 2011 report by BHC, no police officers involved in a number of police violence cases that were brought to the ECHR have been charged for human rights abuses against Roma (ENAR Mar. 2012, 33).

When asked about recourse available to Roma who experience inaction or misconduct by the police, the BHC director stated that they can complain to the prosecutor, but that usually nothing is resolved, or the Ombudsman, although "the remedy is inadequate" (18 Sept. 2012). According to Country Reports 2011, the Ombudsman reviews individual complaints against government authorities relating to infringement of rights (US 24 May 2012, 14). The office reportedly received 3,687 complaints in 2010 and 5,530 complaints in 2011 (ibid.). Country Reports 2011 states that authorities "sometimes" acted on the Ombudsman's recommendations (ibid.).

3.3 Judiciary

The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, who visited Bulgaria between 9 and 16 May 2011, noted that discrimination against Roma was a barrier to their ability to access justice (UN 21 May 2012, para. 76). The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights notes several problems for Roma in the Bulgarian judiciary system, including: being denied access to legal representation; being subject to excessively lengthy criminal proceedings and detention on remand; and disparate sentencing because of their Roma ethnicity (Council of Europe Feb. 2012, 87-88). The BHC director indicated that Roma, among others, have poor access to legal aid (18 Sept. 2012).

For information on the situation of Roma, including access to employment, housing, health care, and education, as well as state efforts to improve the conditions of Roma, please consult Response to Information Request BGR104200.E of 19 October 2012.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France-Presse (AFP). 2 October 2011. "10 Days After Death, Anti-Roma Demo in Bulgarian City." (Factiva)

_____. 29 September 2011. "Roma Tensions Grow in Bulgaria." (Factiva)

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). 9 June 2011. Boryana Dzhambazova. "Bulgarian Nationalists Risk Political Isolation." Balkan Insight. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

Bulgaria. N.d.a. National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues. National Roma Integration Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2020). [Accessed 12 Sept. 2012]

_____. N.d.b. Commission for Protection Against Discrimination. Annual Report of the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2010, Summary. [Accessed 27 Sept. 2012]

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC). 18 September 2012. Telephone interview with the Director.

_____. March 2012. Human Rights in Bulgaria in 2011. [Accessed 12 Sept. 2012]

_____. 29 July 2010. Submission of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. For Consideration when Compiling the List of Issues on the Fifth Periodic Report of Bulgaria under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

Council of Europe. February 2012. Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights of Roma and Travellers in Europe. [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

_____. 7 December 2011. European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). ECRI Conclusions on the Implementation of the Recommendations in Respect of Bulgaria Subject to Interim Follow-Up. (CRI(2012)7) [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

Deutsche Welle. 4 December 2011. Blagorodna Grigorova. "Right-Wing Extremist Violence on the Rise in Bulgaria." (Factiva)

The Economist [London]. 8 October 2011. "Out in the Streets." (Factiva)

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 30 September 2011. "Bulgaria Politics: The Prejudice Explodes." (Factiva)

European Network Against Racism (ENAR). March 2012. Dr. Elena Dyankova and Dr. Valeria Ilareva. ENAR Shadow Report. Racism and Related Discriminatory Practices in Bulgaria. [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

_____. N.d. "About ENAR." [Accessed 4 Oct. 2012]

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). 31 July 2012. "Attacks Against Roma in Bulgaria: September 2011-July 2012." [Accessed 27 Sept. 2012]

_____. 5 May 2011. "Violence Against Roma." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

_____. August 2010. NGO Information to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. For Consideration when Compiling the List of Issues on the Fifth Periodic Report of Bulgaria under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

_____. 11 January 2010. "European Court of Human Rights Finds Violations in Bulgarian Police Brutality Case Involving Romani Victims." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and People in Need. March 2011. Breaking the Silence. Trafficking in Romani Communities. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

European Union (EU). 2009. Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey. Data in Focus Report 1: The Roma. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

IHS Global Insight. 27 September 2011. James Goundry. "More than 100 Arrested Across Bulgaria in Demonstrations Against Roma." (Factiva)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG). 2012. "Bulgaria." By Katalin Halász in State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012: Events of 2011. [Accessed 12 Sept. 2012]

People Against Racism. 5 February 2012. "Position of XoPa Against Neo-Nazi Procession (Lukov March)." [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

_____. 4 November 2011. "Neo-Nazi Terror Continues--Brutal Neo-Nazi Attack on the 79 Bus Line in Sofia, Bulgaria." [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

_____. 12 February 2011. "Lukov March and the Neo-Nazi Provocations in Bulgaria." [Accessed 18 Sept. 2012]

Political Handbook of the World 2011. 2011. "Bulgaria." Edited by Thomas C. Muller, William R. Overstreet, Judith F. Isacoff and Tom Lansford. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Political Parties of the World. 2009. 7th ed. Edited by DJ Sagar. London: John Harper Publishing.

Romea.cz. 1 August 2012. "Bulgaria: Man Dies as a Result of Bombing of Euroroma Office." Translated from Czech by Gwendolyn Albert. [Accessed 27 Sept. 2012]

Sofia News Agency. 29 June 2012. "Strong Blast Hits Euroroma Office in SW Bulgaria, 1 Injured." [Accessed 11 Oct. 2012]

_____. 18 February 2012. "1000 Take Part in Bulgaria's Controversial Far-Right March." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2012]

_____. 14 April 2012. "Fatal Mass Fight in Bulgarian Village Was Inter-Ethnic." [Accessed 3 Oct. 2012]

_____. 10 June 2010. "Bulgarian Skinheads, Roma Clash Close to Presidency." [Accessed 11 Oct. 2012]

_____. 9 May 2010. "Bulgarian Nationalist Extremist Faces Racism Suit." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2012]

The Telegraph [London]. 25 September 2011. "120 Arrested During Bulgaria Roma Clashes." (Factiva)

Transitions Online (TOL). 6 October 2011. Boyko Vassilev. "The Return of the Gypsies." [Accessed 12 Sept. 2012]

United Nations (UN). 21 May 2012. Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul. Addendum: Mission to Bulgaria. (A/HRC/20/19/Add.2) [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

_____. 14 December 2011. Committee Against Torture. Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties Under Article 19 of the Convention. Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Bulgaria. (CAT/C/BGR/CO/4-5) [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

_____. 4 October 2011. UN Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees and Stateless Persons. "UN Human Rights Office Speaks Out Against Targeting of Roma in Bulgaria." [Accessed 12 Sept. 2012]

_____. 19 August 2011. Human Rights Committee. Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant. Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee. Bulgaria. (CCPR/C/BGR/CO/3) [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

United States (US). June 2012. Department of State. "Bulgaria (Tier 2)." Trafficking in Persons Report 2012. [Accessed 20 Sept. 2012]

_____. 24 May 2012. Department of State. "Bulgaria." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011. [Accessed 11 Sept. 2012]

The Wall Street Journal. 29 September 2011. "Anti-Roma Protests Escalate in Bulgaria." (Factiva)

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact the following persons and organizations were unsuccessful: Human Rights Project; Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Science. An academic at Leiden University was unable to provide information..

Internet sites, including: Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance; Bulgaria — Ombudsman; Decade of Roma Inclusion; ecoi.net; European Roma Rights Network; Factiva; Freedom House; International Federation for Human Rights; Open Society Institute; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; UN — Refworld, UN Development Programme.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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