The United States embassy in Sofia has become the latest to condemn the annual Lukov March, planned this year for February 18 2017, saying that Lukov was known for his pro-Nazi and nationalist views.
The march, organised by far-right groups and which draws ultra-nationalist participants from elsewhere in Europe, honours Hristo Lukov, who in the 1930 and 1940s led the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and was war minister before being assassinated on February 13 1943.
The US embassy, noting that Lukov’s assassination would be marked by an unauthorised gathering this weekend, said: “While we recognise the rights of assembly and free speech as essential democratic principles, the US Embassy condemns hate speech, xenophobia, or incitements to violence as contrary to the basic values of any democratic society.
“The Embassy continues in its resolve to support individuals, organizations and government agencies that use tolerance, truth, and intelligent speech to demonstrate respect for the dignity of all people,” the statement said.
The 2017 Lukov March already has been condemned by the Shalom Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria and by the Israeli embassy. Over the years, the march repeatedly has been the targets of calls for its banning, from the Russian foreign ministry and from political parties including the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.
On February 12 2017, a march was held through the streets of Sofia to call for the banning of the Lukov March.