Sofia Neighbourhood Protests Against Systematic Roma Abuse

Incidents | June 3, 2016, Friday // 08:46|  views

The neighbourhood of Botunets. Photo: Wikipedia

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the neighbourhood of Botunets located in the northeastern part of the Bulgarian capital on Thursday.

The protesters, who were guarded by a large number of police and gendarmerie officers, expressed their discontent of being systematically harassed by Roma people living in the neighbourhood.

The latest conflict occurred when a Roma family celebrated late into night the release of their son from prison.

Bulgarians, who had asked the loud music to be turned down, were beaten by the Roma. Six people, including two children, were admitted to hospital.

According to reports, a twelve-year-old girl hadd broken ribs, but this information has not yet been confirmed by police. So far, no people have been detained over the beating.

The tension remained high on Thursday, with protesters calling on authorities to take measures and evict the Roma who had settled in the neighbourhood as well as to heighten police presence.

Residents complained that they are afraid to go out when it gets dark and there is only one police car patrolling the neighbourhood at night.

The protests are set to continue in the next days, with a larger one scheduled to take place on Friday.

According to the mayor of the district, the incident is more of a domestic rather than ethnic character.

The mayor admitted that there is a problem with the street lighting in some parts of the neighbourhood.


Tags: Bulgaria, sofia, protest, Botunets, Roma, incident

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