OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN

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Letter to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
from the Co-President of OMO "Ilinden" - PIRIN

October 15, 2007

For the attention of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Committee of Ministers
Council of Europe
65000 Strasbourg

Dear Ambassadors,

Re: Continued non-registration of the United Macedonian Organisation "Ilinden" PIRIN

As the Committee of Ministers has been informed, on Thursday 11 October 2007, the Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria rejected our appeal regarding the decision of the Sofia City Court (23 August 2007) which denied our latest application to re-register our political party.

In light of the fact that our case will be examined by the Committee of Ministers at its meeting of 15-17 October 2007, we wish to state the following:
  • We strongly feel deceived by the institutions of the Bulgarian state. Following the last Decision of the Committee of Ministers (5-6 June 2007), in a spirit of good will, we entered into discussions with the Secretariat on the best avenue on how to rapidly achieve re-registration. Upon the suggestion of the Secretariat and with support of the Bulgarian government we pursued the avenue suggested by the Secretariat in its letter of 11 July 2007.

  • It was evident that during this entire process, Bulgarian state institutions and authorities have engaged in activities for the purpose of derailing and denying the registration of UMO "Ilinden" PIRIN and its subsequent participation in the upcoming local elections. This can be evidenced by the fact that our applications to hold the foundation meetings in local cultural centres were all denied; the public prosecutor opposed our registration; the Sofia City Court subsequently rejected our application for registration based on absurd grounds; the transfer of the file from the Sofia City Court to the Supreme Court of Cassation took an extraordinarily long time (more than 21 days) despite the stated urgency of the case; and finally the Supreme Court of Cassation rejected our appeal. For full details of these events, see our previous correspondence to the Committee of Ministers.

  • Evidently, the Bulgarian courts, namely the Sofia City Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation, have not lived up to the expectations that were put on them. The courts have demonstrated an absolute total lack of knowledge of the requirements of the Convention.

  • As a result of the failure of the Bulgarian courts execute the judgment of the ECtHR and thus re-register our party, we will, once again, be unable to participate in an election - on this occasion, in the local elections scheduled for 28 October 2007. The next opportunity to participate in elections at the local level will be in 2011. Effectively, this means that UMO Ilinden PIRIN will have been excluded from the political process at the local level for 11 years (2000-2011) as a result of a decision of the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria which the ECtHR founded to be in violation of the Convention. This is highly undemocratic and inconsistent with the founding principles of the Council of Europe and the European Union, of which Bulgaria is a member state.
In light of the above, UMO Ilinden PIRIN, wishes to make the following appeal to the Committee of Ministers:
  1. To support a new avenue to rapidly ensure the re-registration of UMO Ilinden PIRIN. One option would be to request the Bulgarian government exercise is power under Article 150 of the Bulgarian Constitution and address the Constitutional Court regarding the issue of registration. A second option is to request the Bulgarian government to introduce legislation to the Bulgarian Parliament which would result in the registration of the party. This would achieve equal treatment for UMO Ilinden PIRIN and give effect to the judgment of the Court.

  2. To require the Bulgarian government to hold major awareness training for Bulgarian courts and Public Prosecutors in respect of the requirements of the Convention with regard to the execution of judgments.
We trust that the Bulgarian government is sincere in its commitment to fully execute the Court's judgment by attaining the re-registration of UMO "Ilinden" PIRIN. In this connection, we fully expect that the government will take all the necessary steps at its disposal to ensure that this is rapidly achieved.

Yours sincerely,


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