After Death of Refugee in Bulgaria: NGO Demands Legal Passages Across Border

Written by on January 3, 2017 in Bulgaria, Latest - 1 Comment

The NGO Border Monitoring Bulgaria (BMB) has demanded legal passages across borders, including the Turkish-Bulgarian one, in order to prevent refugees from freezing to death.

The demand was voiced hours after the body of a Somali woman was found near that same border, close to the village of Ravadinovo. She is the only refugee who froze to death in Bulgaria in 2017. But, unfortunately, chances are there will be more victims.

The lady was part of a group of 31 refugees, who managed to sneak into the country, a day after they had been detained, trying to cross the border. Several female teenagers were part of that group. Two of them were taken to hospitals with frozen limbs.

According to the weather forecast, temperatures in southern Bulgaria will drop down to -24 degrees Centigrade this coming weekend. This means the danger for tragedies of this kind is increasing.

In 2016, as many as ten refugees froze to death in Bulgaria, according to media reports. On February 7th, 2016, a teenage girl and a woman in her thirties froze to death near the town of Malko Tarnovo. Along with other refugees, they had been sleeping outdoors in freezing temperatures.

In January of 2016, almost exactly a year ago, two male asylum seekers froze to death as well. This tragedy happened close to Bulgaria’s border with Serbia. That is also where the body of yet another refugee was found in November of 2016. The 18-year old also froze to death, in an abandoned industrial complex.

The danger is real. Hundreds of Border Police officers and their colleagues from the new European Border Agency are stationed along the southern border. But refugees from Africa and the Middle East, most of whom are not used to harsh European winters, are trying to avoid them, in order to be able to enter the country and head north-west.

By Imanuel Marcus

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