Human Rights Situation in Bulgaria Almost Unchanged

March 20, 2002

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Prague, Czech Republic

RFE/RL Newsline Vol. 6, No. 53, Part II, 20 March 2002

In an interview broadcast by Bulgarian National Radio on 19 March, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee President Krasimir Kanev spoke on the country's human rights efforts. "In 2001, there was progress as well as setbacks, so the human rights situation in general remained almost unchanged," quoted him as saying. According to Kanev, the Helsinki Committee has taken note of positive developments, such as the fact that there were fewer human rights violations recorded in Bulgaria in 2001 than in previous years, and that the environment for children and ethnic minorities has improved. However, last year's positive developments were offset by widespread incidents of excessive use of force by police -- almost half of the detainees questioned reported that they were maltreated or even tortured. Kanev described the situation in some health care institutions as "inhumane and humiliating."

For related news please see the following:

MHRMC 2001 Annual Report - The Macedonian Minority in Bulgaria
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee's Annual Report - Human Rights in Bulgaria in 2001

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