Racially Motivated Attack against Romani Man and Non-Romani Woman in Bulgaria

29 July 2004

Mr Martin Simeonov, a 22-year-old Romani man, testified to the ERRC on May 1, 2004, that on March 19, 2004, four ethnic Bulgarian men brutally attacked him and his 21-year-old ethnic Bulgarian girlfriend, Ms Pepa Stoyanova, in the north-eastern Bulgarian town of Shumen. Mr Simeonov informed the ERRC that he and Ms Stoyanova were walking on the street when the four men attacked them from behind while shouting, "Hey Mangal, do you know what state you are living in" and cursing his Gypsy mother. "Mangal" is a derogatory word for Roma in Bul-garia. The men punched and kicked Mr Simeonov all over his body, and also beat him with chains. They also reportedly punched Ms Stoyanova. Mr Simeonov stated that he and Stoyanova managed to escape but the men threw empty alcohol bottles at them as they ran away. At this time, several cars drove by and the attackers ran away. Mr Simeonov and Ms Stoyanova called the police, who were unable to find the four men when they arrived. Mr Simeonov sustained cuts all over his face and one of his teeth was broken during the attack. Ms Stoyanova sustained bruises on her back. On March 20, Mr Simeonov went to the hospital and was issued a medical certifi-cate attesting to his injuries. As of the beginning of May 2004, a po-lice investigation into the case was ongoing. (ERRC)


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