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2-6 Human Rights: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or DegradingTreatment or Punishment




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2-6 Human Rights: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or DegradingTreatment or Punishment

The Constitution expressly prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment.

Despite this prohibition, there were a number of credible reports
describing police beating of Roma during arrests. In January and
February, a riot control unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs shot
and wounded at least 3 people and beat more than 10 during an operation
in response to illegal felling of trees near Velingrad. All of the
victims were Roma. No police officers were charged or investigated.

In a Sofia neighborhood in March, police reportedly beat almost 40
Romani teenagers and young men in an incident following several
confrontations between Roma and "skinheads." No police officers were
investigated, despite numerous victims' accounts and a credible NGO
report to law enforcement and other governmental authorities.

Conditions in some prisons are harsh, including severe overcrowding,
inadequate lavatory facilities, and insufficient heating and
ventilation. Credible sources reported cases of brutality committed by
prison guards against inmates; in some cases, prisoners who complained
were placed in solitary confinement. The process by which prisoners may
complain of substandard conditions or of mistreatment does not appear to
function. The Government cooperated fully with requests by independent
observers to monitor prison conditions.

 

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