'Outsiders' Involved in Bulgaria's anti-Roma Protests

Domestic | June 16, 2015, Tuesday // 10:17|  views

Protesters have taken to the streets of Orlandovtsi neighborhood in Sofia every night since Saturday. Photo by BGNES

Out of 34 detained at the protests held Tuesday in the Orlandovtsi neighborhood in Sofia, Bulgaria, only 8 were from the neighborhood, police say.

Initially the number of arrested people was lower but law enforcement officers had to take more into custody over hooliganism and refusing to heed police orders.

The head of Sofia police unit SDVR Mladen Marinov told the Bulgarian National Television on Tuesday that it was early to say whether someone had organized an act of "provocation" during the protest, which went into its third night after a brawl over loud music sparked tensions between Bulgarians and Roma people in the neighborhood.

Marinov added there had been a process of organizing participants through social networks.

However, he stopped short of describing the detainees and other participants as "organized provocateurs".

Tensions are on the rise between members of the ethnic Bulgarian and Roma communities in Orlandovtsi after a Sunday squabble about loud music in Orlandovtsi triggered protests, in a similar scenario to the developments in the village of Garmen.

Security has been stepped up in Orlandovtsi as new demonstrations are expected Tuesday evening.

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Tags: protests, Roma, tensions, Bulgarian, police, provocateurs


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