Two Romani Soldiers Murdered in Bulgarian Village
12 October 1996
The Human Rights Project (Sofia) announced that two Romani soldiers who had deserted their posts were shot and killed by a military police officer on July 19, 1996 in the village of Lesura in the Vratsa District in northwestern Bulgaria.
Kuncho Anguelov, 20, and Kiril Petkov, 20, who had run away from their unit one week prior to the incident, were hiding in the home of Kuncho Anguelov in a Romani neighborhood in Lesura when a captain and two sergeants came to arrest them for desertion. When the two Romani men saw the officers, they attempted to escape. The captain, the commanding officer present, then opened fire with an automatic weapon while shouting racial slurs. According to a witness to the murder, the captain continued to fire even after the victims were lying motionless on the ground. Witnesses also claim that it was pure accident that no one else was injured, since the area of the shooting is densely populated. Both of the victims, who were unarmed, died on the spot as a result of their injuries.
The Human Rights Project hired a lawyer for the families of the victims. The case is currently being investigated by the Pleven Military Prosecutor's Office, who have charged the officer concerned with murder under Article 115 of the Bulgarian Penal Code.