Police beat a Romani man in Bulgaria

15 August 2001

The Sofia-based non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Project (HRP) has reported that on February 24, 2001, a local police inspector subjected Mr Mitko Naidenov, a thirty-two-year-old Romani man from the village of Asparuhovo, northwestern Bulgaria, to a severe beating. According to an HRP interview with Mr Naidenov, at about 8PM on February 23, 2001, Mr Naidenov met with friends in a pub in Asparuhovo. Another two Romani men, Mr Gheorghi Marinov from Asparuhovo and Mr Danail Vassilev from a neighbouring village, later joined the group. While in the pub, Mr Marinov reportedly lost his wallet and left without it. According to Mr Naidenov, Mr Vassilev found the wallet and ordered drinks for the whole group, paying for them with money in the wallet.

On the following day, February 24, the Regional Police Inspector in Asparuhovo, Sergeant Liubomir Liubomirov, appeared at the home of Mr Naidenov and demanded that Mr Naidenov accompany him to the district police station in the village of Rassovo. Sergeant Liubomirov reportedly did not give a reason for his detention and once at the police station started beating Mr Naidenov. He beat Mr Naidenov with a truncheon and with his fists, as well as kicking him. During the beating, Mr Naidenov apparently fainted and was taken to hospital in the town of Lom. Mr Naidenov remained in hospital for twelve days, between February 24 and March 5, 2001, and required surgery for the injuries he had sustained. The medical certificate issued by the hospital in Lom stated that, as a result of multiple blows with a blunt object, Mr Naidenov received contusions to the head, body and limbs; he suffered a concussion and his right thigh was partially immobilised. Mr Naidenov filed a complaint with the Regional Military Prosecutor's Office on March 21, 2001. Further information on the human rights situation of Roma in Bulgaria, including the ERRC's 1997 Country Report Profession: Prisoner: Roma in Detention in Bulgaria, on abuse of Roma in places of detention in Bulgaria, is available on the ERRC Internet website at: www.errc.org.

(Human Rights Project)


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