25. November 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für The provoked riot in Harmanli’s refugee camp · Kategorien: Bulgarien · Tags: , ,

Quelle: Bordermonitoring Bulgaria | 24.11.2016

Today, after more than two days of quarantine, at noon a massive riot broke out in Harmanli’s refugee camp, which is located not far way from the Bulgarian-Turkish border. The revolting migrants protested against the closing of the camp and for freedom of movement. Hundreds did not understand why more than 3000 people have to stay inside the camp and are not allowed to go out, while not everybody is ill from deceases. The closing of the camp was already a longer plan of the authorities and an answer on the permanent ongoing protest of right wing parties, neo-nazis and their supporters.

Some small barricades were built up by the protesters, some of them were burning. After a while, a water cannon which had entered the camp, was attacked by several people with stones. Riot police answered to them with batons and some of them were even throwing stones back to the revolting migrants. After a longer while the situation calmed down, as some migrants managed to pacify the crowd. The people continued with their protest peacefully.

After failed negotiations, the riot continued again in the night. It was stated, by Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry chief secretary Georgi Kostov, that more than 200 people from the camp are in custody. Police had entered some buildings and started to use physical violence. Even people who were not part of the riot were attacked. It was reported that the police used rubber bullets. At the moment it is still not clear how many people are injured, regarding the lack of communication inside the camp. Already many people claimed that the police had entered their rooms and beaten them, although they did not participate in the riot. Several photos are already available, which are documenting their injuries.


Quelle: The Guardian | 25.11.2016

„Bulgarian police fire rubber bullets during migrant camp riot“

Bulgaria’s biggest refugee camp erupts after its inhabitants wrongly accused by local media of carrying infectious skin diseases

Bulgarian police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at rioting migrants angered at being confined to their refugee camp during a health scare, the interior ministry said.

The unrest in the camp in Harmanli, a town close to the Turkish border, happened two days after the authorities sealed it off to prevent anyone leaving following local media reports that the migrants were carrying infectious diseases.

Earlier on Thursday, camp residents set fire to furniture and tyres and threw stones at riot police, who deployed water cannon. In the evening, police pushed back a large group trying to leave the camp, which is home to 3,000 people, mostly thought to be Afghans. “We used a water cannon, blanks and rubber bullets as well as physical force,” said Georgi Kostov, the interior ministry’s chief secretary, outside Bulgaria’s biggest refugee camp.

“Over 40 of the most rampaging migrants were detained. They will be charged,” he said, adding that four police officers had been wounded. He said was not aware of any wounded migrants.

Reflecting the gravity of the situation – and the political impact of the migrant crisis – the prime minister, Boiko Borisov, was on his way to the camp late on Thursday, a spokeswoman said.

Harmanli townspeople staged a protest last week calling for the camp’s closure after media alleged that migrants there carried communicable skin diseases. The head of the Bulgarian refugee agency, which runs the camp and took the decision to seal it temporarily to allow health authorities to investigate, told Bulgarian national radio that those reports were false.

Bulgaria has built a fence on its border with Turkey and has bolstered its border controls to prevent migrants entering. Around 17,000 were detained in the first 10 months of the year, down by more than a third on last year.

Despite the decreasing numbers of arrivals, Bulgarian nationalists have staged protests in recent months calling for the immediate closure of all refugee centres and for migrants to be returned to Turkey or their countries of origin. They say Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member state, cannot afford to support them in such numbers.

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