Amnesty International slams Bulgaria over push-backs of refugees, treatment of Roma, hate crimes

Amnesty International’s 2015/16 annual report has sharply criticised Bulgaria over allegations of push-backs of refugees and migrants by Border Police, poor conditions for the reception of asylum-seekers, a lack of a plan for integration of recognised refugees, forcible evictions of Roma and the stalling of amendments to hate crime legislation.

The Amnesty International Report said that there had been a fourfold increase in the number of refugees and migrants entering Bulgaria through the border with Turkey in 2015, after the introduction of border protection measures resulted in a significant drop in 2014.

Bulgaria’s authorities had announced a plan to extend the current 33km fence on the border by 60km, to divert the migration flows to official border crossings.

“However, NGOs reported that people in search of international protection who were trying to enter Bulgaria through checkpoints were rejected,” the Amnesty International report said.

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