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Xenophobic behaviour and incitement of hatred towards refugees in Bulgaria

Parliamentary questions

27 February 2015

Question for written answer
to the Commission

Rule 130
Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE)

Subject: Xenophobic behaviour and incitement of hatred towards refugees in Bulgaria

Ever since 2013, as the number of refugees in Bulgaria has increased, the incidence of xenophobic behaviour and cases of incitement of hatred, mainly by nationalistic organisations and individuals, has also been rising.

In 2013, the ‘National Unity’ movement called for the establishment of vigilante patrols, claiming that urban life was under threat from refugees. Representatives of the Ataka party have advocated the ‘expulsion of all illegal immigrant incomers’. Refugees have also been called cannibals and mass murderers.

In September 2014, the nationalistic Bulgarian National Union, among others, threatened the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, which defends refugees’ rights, insisting that it be closed down.

In February 2015, Amnesty International released its annual report on the situation with regard to human rights, in which it called on the Bulgarian authorities to take appropriate steps to combat xenophobic incidents and crimes, as these commonly went unresolved and unacknowledged, being dealt with simply as instances of ‘hooliganism’. The report refers to cases in which refugees from Arab countries were severely beaten and wounded, and which were investigated essentially as incidents of hooliganism rather than hate crimes.

1. Is the Commission aware of such cases and of the practice in dealing with them, and what is its view?

2. What measures does the Commission consider appropriate to prevent and combat crime of a racist and xenophobic nature?

Тази публикация е достъпна и на следните езици: Bulgarian