Casual Racism in Plovdiv Region: Locals Mistake Foreign Students for Migrants

Incidents | March 7, 2024, Thursday // 13:21|  views

Residents of Hrabrino village (loosely translated to "Brave") in Plovdiv region found themselves in an unexpected situation when they organized a civil arrest of what they believed to be a group of refugees, only to discover later that the individuals they detained were foreign medical students innocently walking in the mountains. The incident has raised concerns about the dangers of citizens taking law enforcement into their own hands.

The misunderstanding began when locals in the villa area of Dedevo noticed a group of youths whom they deemed suspicious due to their appearance. Mistaking them for migrants, residents promptly informed the mayor and took matters into their own hands, organizing a group to detain the individuals until the police could arrive.

"We saw a group of ... darker-skinned boys walking in the middle of the road, which seemed unusual to us," said Vasilka Dimitrova, one of the witnesses.

Acting on the assumption that they were dealing with refugees, the locals detained the individuals, describing them as "dark-skinned and with beards." However, upon police arrival, it was revealed that the detained individuals were actually foreign medical students from Plovdiv Medical University.

Anelia Vlahkinova, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Plovdiv, emphasized the importance of allowing law enforcement to handle such situations. She urged citizens to refrain from taking matters into their own hands and instead call the emergency hotline.

The incident also sparked a wave of misinformation, with local news outlets falsely reporting that a large group of foreigners had been arrested by police in Hrabrino, allegedly coming from a refugee camp.

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Tags: Plovdiv, arrest, refugees, students


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