New director of Bulgaria’s Harmanli refugee reception centre appointed

Former senior Border Police official Slavcho Yanev has been appointed the new director of the Harmanli refugee reception centre, Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees said on December 13.

Yanev was appointed after a competition, announced three months ago when Yordan Malinov, twice the director of the refugee centre, left the post.

Harmanli was the site of an uprising, mainly involving Afghanistan citizens, on November 24.

Yanev was deputy director of the regional directorate of the Border Police in Elhovo prior to his appointment to head the Harmanli camp.

Acting director of the Harmanli refugee centre, Dimitar Zahariev, began on December 12 introducing Yanev to the centre. The new director’s first tasks will include continuing of special checks at the centre.

In an interview with public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television, Petya Purvanova, the head of the State Agency for Refugees, said that currently there were 2002 people at the Harmanli refugee centre, mostly families and individuals.

This was about a third fewer than at the time of the November 2016 uprising.

About 1600 of these had undergone medical examinations. Of these, 180 were found to have illnesses, including diagnoses of influenza and scabies.

Of those examined by doctors, several pregnant women, people diagnosed with flu and chickenpox, had been sent to hospital. Cases of scabies were being treated. It took about three to four days to heal if properly treated.

Those who were cleared as being in good health were allowed to go outside the centre, Purvanova said.

Purvanova said that after the riots at the Harmanli centre, about 180 people had volunteered to be repatriated and about a third of them had already returned to Afghanistan. There would also be forced returns.





The Sofia Globe staff

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