The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), an NGO based in Sofia, has called for an investigation of the events in and around Bulgaria’s largest refugee camp, in the town of Harmanli.
The organization accused some media in Bulgaria of stirring up rumors about illnesses at the camp, while quoting Dr. Angel Kunchev, of the Major Health Inspectorate in Sofia, saying there was no danger of any contamination of the Harmanli population.
According to the BHC, so-called “patriotic”, far right parties with mostly xenophobic messages “were allowed to speak on behalf of the entire population in Harmanli”, referring to demonstrations against refugees, which those parties have staged all over the country.
The NGO also said, the manipulation of news and opinions might have been carried out because of the parliamentary elections next year, during which xenophobic parties might receive more votes after spreading more hatred in parts of the Bulgarian society.
The question about European funds was raised by the BHC as well. Recently, 160 million Euro were provided for the accommodation of refugees. The organization stated, there were certain party figures, who were interested in “absorbing” those funds.
A week earlier, the BHC had accused Bulgarian police of robbing, kicking, beating and intimidating refugees.