Police Brutality in Bulgaria: Helsinki Committee Sounds the Alarm

Written by on February 22, 2017 in Bulgaria - No comments
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) in Sofia is bringing up the issue of police brutality. It is not the first time. The NGO monitors the situation by interviewing people in custody and in the country’s prisons. The outcome of their research suggests that police violence continues in Bulgaria, as we speak.
 
The organization says, almost a third of all detainees are victims of illegal violence on the part of the police. Especially minors are at risk of becoming victims of police brutality in Bulgaria, which is an even more alarming aspect.
 
According to the BHC, one of the very few NGOs working for justice and minority rights in Bulgaria, the authorities, including the Ministry of the Interior in Sofia, hardly have any information of police violence cases and related complaints. Of the cases the ministry did receive, only 11 percent resulted in punishments for the perpetrators. Most of the violations were torture, unlawful detention and illegal use of force during interrogations.
 
In the few cases which were brought to court, police officers were found guilty in 61 percent of the cases. The data discrepancies show police violence continues to be a problem in Bulgaria, concludes the BHC. Their report, including details, can be found here.
 
In the recent past, the Sofia-based Bulgarian Helsinki Committee has also accused the border police of illegal violence, in this case against refugees. Other NGOs have come to the same conclusion.
 
By im.
 

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