Amnesty: Bulgaria authorities failing to prosecute hate crimes

Amnesty: Bulgaria authorities failing to prosecute hate crimes

[JURIST] Bulgarian authorities are failing to address hate crimes, leading to a state of fear, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] report [text, PDF] Monday. According to AI, over the past two years the number of asylum seekers crossing the border from Turkey to Bulgaria increased almost ten-fold, causing an increase in hate crimes within the state. AI’s researcher on discrimination in Europe, Marco Perilini, said “[h]undreds of people from minority groups have experienced hate crimes and many more have no confidence in the authorities to protect them.” Several international organizations require that states protect their citizens form human rights violations resulting from hate crimes and even Bulgaria’s criminal code criminalizes hate crimes under several constitutional provisions. However, even with the abundance of laws in place, the state has reportedly failed to protect them. AI recommends that Bulgaria amend their current criminal code to include all possible minority groups, properly investigate and condemn hate crimes and help current victims, and that the EU help implement directives that criminalize hate crimes in EU states.

Hate crimes persist throughout the world. Last month a criminal court in Paris convicted [JURIST report] three people of hate crimes for tweeting homophobic messages on the social media site Twitter. In 2012 Chile enacted [JURIST report] an anti-discrimination law, following the March beating-to-death of a young gay man in a Santiago park. In 2011 a UN official said that hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people are on the rise worldwide [JURIST report].