• Anti-Roma Protests in major Bulgarian cities

    A series of protests officially supporting the villagers of Katunitsa, but actually of anti-Roma character, were organised in many major Bulgarian cities between September 26 and October 2. The participants were mainly ultra-rightist minors, organized via Facebook. The protests, usually starting as peaceful rallies, excalated to single acts violence and provocations against the police forces guarding them. The rallies in Sofia gathered about 1,000 protesters. They were accompanied by a car with the ri...

  • First conviction for a call to violence and hate in "Facebook"

    The Bulgarian Regional Court Varna imposed a 10 months conditional imprisonment and a public reprimand to the 23-year-old Slav Zhechev for an offense against the equality of citizens. He created a Facebook event named "Slaughter of Gypsies”. This is the second conviction under Art. 162, para. 1 of the Criminal Code of preaching and incitement to discrimination, violence or hatred based on race or ethnicity, the first one being of the Bulgarian nationalists’ party "Ataka" l...

On 25.09.2011, a car associated with the Roma “boss” Kiril Rashkov hit a 19-years boy in the village of Katunitsa. Following this incident, the villagers organised a protest rally against Rashkov family’s arbitrary behavior harassing their co-villagers for years.
The ultra rightist fans of the Plovdiv-based football teams organised a protest in support of the people of Katunitsa. The police forces prevented most of them from entering the village. Those who succeeded in entering Katunitsa joined the local people. The protest escalated and the house of Rashkov was set on fire. The police forces had already removed Rashkov and his family away from the village. A total of 127 people were arrested and charged in hooliganism, vandalism, arson and destruction of property.
Protests officially supporting the people of Katunitsa were organised in most major cities in Bulgaria over the following few days. Protesters gathered mainly via Facebook. The author of one of the Facebook events, named "Slaughter of Gypsies”,  which was an among the most extreme incitements to violence was sentenced to 10 months conditional imprisonment by the Regional Court Varna.
The rallies were of anti-Roma character and most of the participants were ultra-rightists/skinheads groups. In several towns the protests ended up with violence against the police. After the first wave of protests the police arrested 105 people in all cities, 30 of which being minors. In Varna, Pleven and Plovdiv organised groups of far-right activists tried to invade the Roma neighbourhoods but they were stopped by the police.