Bulgarian Hostage Crisis: Good, Bad and Ugly

Editorial |Author: Maria Guineva | March 31, 2011, Thursday // 17:22|  views

Om March 23, a young Bulgarian man, Stefan Petrov Stefanov, busted in the local branch of Investbank in Sliven, and shot and seriously wounded one of the security guards.

The assailant took the six bank employees hostages and gradually released them with the last one being held for over 18 hours. He surrendered to the police 39 hours after the beginning of the ordeal.

Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, arrived at 4 am Thursday morning to talk in person to the young man and to convince him to end the hostage crisis. Later that day, Borisov informed the Parliament he promised Stefanov the police will not "even slap" him if he surrenders and said the guy behaved in a "manly manner" for releasing all women unharmed.

Even leaving aside Borisov's statement about "the slaps," inferring it is customary for police to hit people when arresting them, as a seasoned cop should know, and giving Stefanov some sort of praise for not injuring more than one person, the whole affair was indeed unprecedented.

Not only for the hostage drama, but for a country leader's personal involvement in it, something unheard of anywhere else. Who will be then the next copycat criminal, wanting his spotlight on TV and personal chat with the almighty Prime Minister?

Meanwhile, people from Stefanov's native village started collecting signatures in defense of the failed bank robber, but there has not been much talk about the trauma of the women held for many hours at gunpoint, or the security guard still in artificial coma.

There are many poor, deprived, neglected and frustrated people on earth. Does this mean they are allowed to commit crimes and be forgiven for them or "that we can tell everyone who is hungry to butcher someone younger and eat them?" as the Sliven Regional Governor says.

There must be something deeply alarming about a society whose notions have become so twisted that it makes it hard for people to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, moral and immoral.

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Tags: Stefan Petrov Stefanov, Stefanov, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, hostage, Sliven, Investbank


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