The situation for refugees in Bulgaria still exhibits extreme social vulnerability. As the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) and the European Council on Refugees (ECRE) pointed out in a report from January 2015 the push-backs, the lack of integration and discrimination against asylumseekers in Bulgaria are continuing. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry deployed troops on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister announced the extension of the fence project, which will now comprise 160 km.
Violent push-backs at the border are still taking place. One such violation of international norms took place on March 25 as a result of which Mohammed Jawad Kadima (30) and Elias Murad (35) died after freezing to death because of their impossibility to move while sustaining severe injuries on their limbs. A witness of the incident says the following about his experience with the Bulgarian Border Police:
We were 12 people. At the border we got arrested. They beaten us, massively. The bulgarian police took our mobiles, our money that they could find and all objects of value. One of the refugees was not able to walk and his legs couldn’t carry him anymore. The police called us to go back to Turkey. We returned to Turkey.
We remind our readers that violent push-backs often take place at the border. For more information, read our report from July 2014.