Sunday, May 8, 2011



Bulgarian NGOs Rise Against Anti-Roma Protest

May 7, 2011, Saturday

"They are already here...Where are you" reads this poster posted in the Bulgarian Nationalist Forum. It shows Roma individuals and in the background - the building of the Parliament in dowtown Sofia.

Bulgarian NGOs have expressed their concerns over mass anti-Roma protests in the country organized in the Internet for May 8.

The organizations, including the People Against Racism, the Roma Solidarity Foundation from the town of Petrich, the Interethnic Initiative for Human Rights and others, have demanded that the Bulgarian authorities should abolish the events planned.

The scheduled "National Protest against the Roma-zation of Bulgaria" is organized in Internet forums and Facebook by different nationalist groups. Some 14 000 people have stated on Facebook that they will attend it.

Among the nationalists' demands are Roma families to be allowed to have only one child and that Roma people be stripped of their "privileges'". Citizens are invited to protest in front of "all municipality buildings" across the country.

Bulgaria's ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, has already contacted the Chief Prosecutor with regard to the potential protest. On Thursday, the Sofia municipality said no official request has been received for a protest, the Dnevnik daily repots.

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