Racist Statement by Bulgarian MP Regarding Romani Female Youth
21 July 2005
On December 16, 2004, Bulgarian MP Ognian Saparev (Bulgarian Socialist Party) declared on national radio that the use of under-age Romani girls as prostitutes is not a crime, reported the Bulgarian Romani organisation Amalipe. In his statement while on air with Darik radio, Mr. Saparev was quoted as having stated that it is not illegal for young Romani girls to be hired to provide sexual services because "at the age of 14 they are already mature women". The statement by Mr. Saparev was made in the context of a scandal in which the mayor of Pazardhzhik was accused of hiring young Romani girls to provide sexual services for a foreign diplomatic delegation.