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OMO Ilinden PIRIN Open Letter to the President of Bulgaria

December 18, 2006


To:

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria
The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria
The Leader of the Parliamentary Commission for fighting discrimination
The Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Bulgaria



Dear Sirs,

In the last couple of weeks on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria we witnessed unprecedented questioning and harassing of the members of one political party – OMO “Ilinden” – PIRIN. The police and other organs of the Interior Ministry are carrying out these actions by orders of the Sofia City Prosecutor – Il. Slavovska. All of the 6 000 members of the party were summoned to the police stations or the village halls or have been visited at their homes or have been taken with patrol cars from their workplaces.

The mass summoning by the organs of the Interior Ministry is shameful and unacceptable in a democratic society, which Bulgaria claims to be. There are many civilized ways of conducting such investigations, unlike the one chosen by Prosecutor Slavovska. We insist on reminding you that to the majority of the people the police still provoke a strong fear and those who’ve been taken to the police stations were treated as criminals. The campaign was made after months of hysteria in the media and threats by state officials (MPs, mayors, counselors) and politicians stating that the members of the party must be put in prison and the party itself prosecuted with all means of the law.

With concern we conclude that none of the state’s institutions did anything to counter this wave of malicious and public threats. On the contrary, with their actions the Prosecution and Interior Ministry identified themselves with them. The Prosecution has no reasonable explanation to start such a drastic and unusual action that never took place against any of the other existing 380 parties in the Republic of Bulgaria. 17 mistaken Personal Identification Numbers (EGN), some mistakes of the address registration and three minors in the 6 000 handwritten list of the party members cannot be a solid base for initiating mass interrogations.

It cannot be a cause either for some twenty, received with intimidation and manipulation, declarations from members of our party, and gathered by the Prosecution in mid October.

About this case we made a non-resulting complaint to the Supreme Prosecutor General, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and in connection with that we insisted on a session of the Sofia City Court on 18th October to put the applications for membership of those people in court. Prosecutor Slavovska objected to our request. Also the prosecutorial investigations made in connection with the press slanders for “purchasing of signatures” were completed yet in September with the conclusion that “there are no data for committed crime.”

For the above reasons we are to conclude that the order by the Prosecution and the subsequent actions have no reasonable meaning and are being tendentious and malicious against our party.

By executing this illegal order of Prosecutor Slavovska, the Interior Ministry has made many breaches of the law and caused severe psychological pressure upon our members. Different methods were used with confusing and leading questions as well such ones that could not be of any interest for the Prosecution (such as place of work and nationality). Our members are agitated that we are being accused of being an anti-state and separatist party, that being a member of our party is dangerous and that the members and their relatives could get into trouble because of that. The police normally did not introduce themselves and did not show any order, visited homes during the night, took the members from their workplaces, etc.

The actions of the police discredit our members and party before society. They also put the party in a bad situation in front of its members. They discredit the police as an instrument of security and as a democratic institution as well.

We can’t find any excuse for the order of the Prosecutor or for the way in which the organs of Interior Ministry are acting. We are forced to conclude that they are a result of an extreme intolerance, rooted in the society against our ideas and against the members of one peaceful and loyal minority in Bulgaria – the Macedonian one, on which our party is the only one political defender.

It is without doubt that the actions against our party are neither dictated by legal bases, nor made in a legal way. They are only after the political goal to prevent by all costs and with all means the registration of one political party – the party which has observed all the legal procedures and demands for its registration and which came upon unprecedented and, unthinkable in a democratic society, problems every step of the way in the process of its founding and registration. These actions strongly discredit our country internationally and will lead to negative results for our state. But most of all it will negatively affect democracy in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Although the current actions of the state institutions do not give us any reason to hope for your positive interference, we will still be hoping that you will remember your duties to all the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria and the laws and you will do what is in your authority for stopping this abusive unlawfulness and trampling of basic human rights, of this trampling of the principals of democracy, of this open discrimination of part of the citizens of Republic of Bulgaria on a political and ethnic basis.

I hope that this time, unlike what happened with the dozens of our other complaints to the institutions, you will respond to our request in writing.

Regards:

On behalf of the Leadership of OMO “Ilinden” – PIRIN

Stoyko Stoykov

     
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