US: Marginalisation of Roma most pressing human rights problem in Bulgaria

The marginalisation of and societal intolerance towards the Romani minority remained Bulgaria’s most pressing human rights problem, the US State Department said in its human rights report for 2015.

Continued deterioration of Bulgaria’s media environment and increase in the Bulgarian media’s corporate and political dependence were also problematic, the State Department said.

Corruption continued to be a drag on the government’s capabilities and undermined public and business confidence in the judiciary and other government institutions, according to the report.

Other reported human rights problems included an unlawful killing; harsh conditions in prisons and detention facilities; police violence; and long delays in the judicial system.

There were reports of religious discrimination and harassment; anti-Muslim demonstrations; shortcomings in refugee integration processes and policies; election fraud; gender-based violence and discrimination against women; violence against children; increasing online anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and social stigma against persons with HIV/AIDS, the annual report said.

Child labour and discrimination against members of minorities in employment and occupation were also reported. The government took steps to prosecute and punish officials in the security services and elsewhere who committed abuses, but their actions were insufficient, and impunity was a problem.

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(Photo: Rich Goatly/