martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011


We received worrisome news from the Roma of Hristo Botev, a neighborhood in Sofia that experienced neo-Nazi terror last month. On November 1, the day commemorating the leaders of the Bulgarian National revival, a group of neo-Nazis committed the following crime.

The Assault: On 1.11.2011 /Tuesday/, around 8 o’clock in the evening the 27-years-old Angel Nikolov, a student at the High Evangelical Institute of Theology, was going home after service at a church in the Hristo Botev neighborhood. He was riding the 79 bus together with Donka, around 40 years old. The two were headed toward the Filipovtsi neighborhood. One stop before the “Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, known location of past assaults, a dozen young men in skinhead “uniform” for on the bus: black jackets, army boots, shaved heads. At this point Donka and Angel were sitting three seats behind the driver, Donka occupying the window seat. They are the only Roma on the bus, carrying other passengers as well. Upon entering, the neo-Nazis notice Donka and Angel, and after a “Let’s get the ball rolling!” they jump on the two passengers, hitting them with fists and kicking them with their boots while hanging off the top handlebars of the bus. Angel tries to protect Donka with his body, receiving multiple trauma and injuries in result.

The Witnesses: The bus driver makes no effort to contact the police patrol on duty in the area. On the contrary, he opens the bus doors at the traffic light before the next stop, thus allowing the Nazis to leave undisturbed. Not a single person on the bus intervenes to prevent the assault or express resentment.

The Consequences: Currently Angel is in intensive care suffering concussion of the brain, hematomas of the head, and obstructed breathing due to serious contusion of the chest. His condition is highly critical because Angel has epilepsy.

The Questions: This crime is an alarming piece if news for many reasons. Daily, people from the Romani community in Bulgaria become victims of scum bands of neo-Nazis, while the media habitually ignores the assaults.

The Call: We address the media in the hope to voice the problem with yet another instance of racist assault. Besides using violence, the neo-Nazis get away with it, benefiting from the apparent social indifference to their crimes. Presently, the assailants are free. Possibly, the very moment you are reading this they are looking for their next victim. In this and preceding such instances it’s the Roma but victims of neo-Nazi hate are also Muslims, people from other religious and sexual minorities, or Bulgarians with the “wrong” hairdo. Do we know whom they will aim for tomorrow? We cannot keep living with a false sense of security - tomorrow, the victim of assault will be our sister, mother, brother, or friend!

Civil initiative “People against Racism” calls on the authorities to take measures for the arrest and charge of the assailants. Let us not be silent. We call on the media to spread the news. We call on citizens to open their eyes. Let’s say NO to racist terror and violence!

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