Roma Beaten in Bulgaria
29 October 2003
In the eastern Bulgarian town of Shumen, on April 10, 2003, Mr D.K., the owner of a clothing firm, and four other men, beat 31-year-old Mr Anton Milenov Antonov and 32-year-old Mr Vladimir Dimitrov Yordanov, both Romani men employed at the firm, after accusing them of theft, according to the testimonies of Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov given to the ERRC on April 17, 2003. According to Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov, on April 7, 2003, Mr D.K. accused them of stealing a sewing machine. Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov informed the ERRC that at around 12:30 PM on April 10, 2003, they went to work and found Mr D.K. and four other men waiting for them. Mr D.K. asked them where the sewing machine was, to which they responded that they did not know. According to Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov, Mr D.K. insulted their ethnicity and the five men proceeded to brutally beat them, repeatedly hitting and kicking them all over their bodies. At around 2:00 PM when the attack ended, Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov testified, they immediately went to the hospital where they received medical treatment. Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov were issued medical certificates, which verify that they suffered injuries and bruising on their legs, arms and backs. Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov stated that a number of days following the attack, Mr D.K. threatened to shoot them. Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov stated that they informed Mr D.K. that they had medical certificates attesting to their injuries and he offered to pay each of them 100 Bulgarian levs (approximately 50 Euro) in exchange for not informing the police of the incident, which they refused. Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov hired a local attorney, Mr Ivaylo Yordanov, who, on April 11, 2003, filed a complaint with the Shumen District Court on behalf of Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov. At the end of June 2003, Mr Antonov and Mr Yordanov informed the ERRC that they had received written notice from the Shumen District Court that the case had been closed due to a reported lack of evidence.