Annual Report: Bulgaria 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Bulgaria 2013

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  • In May, the European Court of Human Rights held that Bulgaria violated the right to effective remedy of Iranian citizen Mohammad Madah, and would violate his right to family life by deporting him to Iran. The European Court found that his 2005 expulsion order was based on a declaratory statement contained in a National Security Service internal document. The statement implicated Mohammad Madah in drug trafficking to finance a terrorist organization and described him as a national security threat. The European Court stated that the applicant and his family were not given the minimum protection against arbitrary deportation.
  • On 11 September, the Court of Appeal in Veliko Tarnovo authorized the extradition of Mukhad Gadamouri to the Russian Federation, where he is accused of terrorism, weapons trafficking and belonging to an armed group, despite his having been granted refugee status by another EU member state. At the end of the year, Mukhad Gadamouri was still awaiting extradition. He lodged an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, which issued an interim measure against his extradition pending the ruling in the case.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Homophobic public discourse and acts of violence persisted. Bulgarian legislation does not currently criminalize hate crimes perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • On 30 June, the fifth Sofia Pride parade passed without incident despite calls by opponents for widespread violence against participants and supporters, and discriminatory remarks by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Holy Synod. The far-right Bulgarian National Union held a counter-demonstration a few hours before the Pride march.
  • In December, four years after the murder of Mihail Stoyanov in Borisova Garden in Sofia, and several months after the end of the investigation, two suspects were charged with deliberately murdering the 25-year-old medical student. Allegedly, they belonged to a group claiming to be cleansing the park of gay men.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Bulgaria in March and June.
  • Changing laws, changing minds: Challenging homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in Bulgaria (EUR 15/001/2012)