OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN Condemns Bulgarian Human Rights Violations
Against Macedonian Minority

December 4, 2006

Blagoevgrad - The Presidency of OMO Ilinden PIRIN is gravely concerned by the continuing unprecedented and unprovoked interrogations of our members by the Bulgarian police. Following the "NO" vote in the European Parliament last week, the Bulgarian police have summoned a great number of our 6,000 members to local police stations for interrogations. The vote in the European Parliament to not recognize the ethnic Macedonian minority, nor introduce a monitoring mechanism to ensure minority rights are protected in Bulgaria, has encouraged the police to step up their efforts to suppress OMO Ilinden PIRIN and prevent it from registering. By interrogating and intimidating our members, the police seek to scare our members into backing out of their memberships. This is unprecedented in any democratic country, let alone one that will become a full European Union member on January 1, 2007. This is an explicit attempt to destroy our party, and to make impossible our bid for registration. This shows the firm determination by the Bulgarian state to use all means, including violation of human rights and it own laws, to prevent the registration of our Party. It also shows that the Sofia City Court decree was legally baseless. It is clear that the "no" vote in the European Parliament has encouraged the totalitarian forces in the Bulgarian society. We call on the authorities to immediately cease and desist all police actions; all police summonses to be withdrawn and regarded as null and void; and we demand an official apology by the police and the Prosecutor's office and sanctioning of all responsible for these actions. We call on the European Union and all other institutions to intervene and put the Bulgarian state under monitoring, especially during the forthcoming judicial processes. We insist that the court abides by the laws of the country and register our Party.

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