Bulgarian Nationalist Group Calls for the Creation of a National Guard to Fight

20 November 2007

On 19 August 2007, the Bulgarian National Union (BNU), a nationalist non-parliamentary formation, announced its initiative to form a national guard. In a special declaration, the BNU described the guard as an institution which will "support the state organs [...] in suppressing mass disorders and will assist citizens in cases of natural disasters." According to the declaration, the decision for the formation of the National Guard is motivated by "avalanching Gypsy criminality". It was further stated that lack of justice for the crimes committed by Gypsies has created a sense of impunity and encouraged them to commit more crimes.

A report from Mediapool highlighted the fact that the uniforms of the National Guard members resembled the ones of Nazi youth organisations. Bulgarian Minister of Interior, Mr Rumen Petkov, commented that the creation of a national guard is not needed; that such actions are unacceptable and there will be a legal response to them.

The Sofia Prosecutor's Office announced that it was checking the constitutionality of the National Guard following an appeal by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to prosecutorial authorities to investigate whether the actions and the statements of the BNU constitute a violation of the Criminal Code prohibition of incitement to racial hatred.

(Bulgarian National Union, Mediapool, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee)


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