Sofia Neighbourhood Continues to Protest Against Systematic Roma Violence

Incidents | June 4, 2016, Saturday // 11:55|  views

Photo: BGNES

Following a protest on Thursday, more than 500 people gathered in a peaceful procession in the northeastern neighbourhood of Botunets in the Bulgarian capital on Friday to complain of being systematically harassed by their Roma neighbours.

Tensions in the neighbourhood have been running high since Tuesday evening when a Roma family celebrated late into night the release of their son from prison.

After Bulgarians had asked the Roma family to turn down the music, tensions escalated and a mass fight ensued. Six adults and two children sustained injuries in the fight and were admitted to hospital.

A man and a woman have been detained over the incident. According to unconfirmed reports, the woman is the mother of the released prisoner.

The police is searching for six other participants in the fight, who are not on the territory of the neighbourhood.

The interior ministry assured that measures have been taken and police presence has been heightened in the neighbourhood. There were at least twenty police cars and many gendarmerie officers on Friday.

According to the mayor, who had admitted that there is problem with the street lighting in parts of the neighbourhood, the incident was more of a domestic rather than ethnic character.

Some of the discontent of protesters is directed towards the police as there is only one police car patrolling the neighbourhood. One of the families complained that it had been robbed four times.

Residents of the neighbourhood also complained that Roma had settled illegally by constructing houses without owning the land.


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Tags: Bulgaria, sofia, Botunets, Roma, protest, fight, police


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