Profession Prisoner: Roma in Detention in Bulgaria

02 December 1997

Profession: Prisoner: Roma in Detention in Bulgaria

Three categories of people are housed in Bulgaria’s prisons: inmates convicted of crimes who are serving their sentences, persons detained on remand who are awaiting trial, and persons who are on trial or at various stages of the appeal procedure. Article 221 of the Bulgarian Criminal Procedure Code provides that after a recommendation of indictment, the investigator immediately sends the case under investigation to a prosecutor. In addition, the detainee is frequently escorted from the investigation detention facility to prison, where he is put in a cell block for remand prisoners. These are cell blocks for persons awaiting trial and persons presently standing trial. In addition, prisons often act as investigative detention facilities with respect to persons whose sentences have not entered into force.

This report is structured as follows: following a discussion of the history of Roma in Bulgaria and their relation to the societies, governments and states which have existed on the territory of the present-day Bulgaria, the contemporary problem of abuse of Roma by the police, which is closely related to the matter of this report, is discussed in brief. The three chapters comprising the body of the report address the situation of Roma in police detention, in the facilities of the National Investigation Service, and in the prison system. Finally, the report addresses the failure of Bulgarian authorities to sanction abuse of prisoners by state powers.

Profession Prisoner: Roma in Detention in Bulgaria


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