Bulgaria’s President Plevneliev honours victims of communism in Belene

The crimes of communism have not been punished, the victims of the totalitarian regime did not receive justice and the truth about this period of Bulgaria’s history has been totally substituted, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev said at a ceremony to honour the victims of the Belene concentration camp on the island of Persin.

Plevneliev, former president Petar Stoyanov, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev and surviving inmates and relatives of the dead prisoners honoured the memory of the victims, planted roses and laid wreaths and flowers.

For the first time at the annual ceremony, a military guard of honour took part in tributes to the victims.

More than 2300 people were imprisoned on the forced labour camp island in the first years of Bulgaria’s communist regime, which used it again in the 1980s to imprison Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity who resisted the campaign to force them to change their names to Bulgarian ones.

Plevneliev, speaking at the May 28 ceremony, said that Bulgarians had been deprived of the memory of communism, with a subversive scenario for sweeping away and replacing the historical truth continuing to develop with terrible force today.

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