My opinion on the so-called “citizen arrest” of refugees/migrants by self-proclaimed vigilante groups in Bulgaria (which consist mainly of criminal thugs with a long track record of delinquency, and of other “subjects” from the dregs of the Bulgarian society):
The so-called “citizen arrest”, the detention of people who cross the border by citizens who are not part of the police forces or other entitled state organs, is a criminal act – as is obvious by the law, and by the statements of the Bulgarian Attorney General and by the Ministry of Interior. It is according to the Bulgarian Penal Code a criminal offence, punishable with up to six years prison. The vigilante are obviously criminals, and those who applaud their actions are applauding the actions of criminals.
It is up to the relevant authorities alone to exercise law and order. It is up to the relevant authorities alone to decide if someone that entered the country has broken any law by doing so. It is up to the relevant authorities alone to decide if someone has a right to stay in the country or not. It is up to the relevant authorities alone to decide if someone will be granted asylum or not.
A constitutional state can under no circumstances allow that self-proclaimed groups arm themselves and declare themselves as taking over part of the tasks and responsibilities of the government and the state institutions of the executive power. A constitutional state must guarantee at all times that he and he alone exercises the sole executive power and must guarantee at all times that the constitutional rights and human rights of Bulgarian citizens and all other people are respected and that they are protected by the law at all times. A constitutional state has a monopoly on the using of force and violence within clearly defined legitimate limits; any group or person who is acting outside this framework and without legitimacy must be considered a criminal and put on trial.
Politicians that promote or encourage such groups show that they are openly supporting criminal acts against people and against the constitutional system of Bulgaria. It goes without saying that such politicians are not fit for service; in case they have an office, they must immediately step down and face the legal consequences of their words and actions.
The relevant law enforcement institutions need to urgently scrutinize this obvious breach of the law by Bulgarian politicians. That goes also for politicians like Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who must step down immediately after his unsupportable statements and actions in this context, but also for ex-president Parvanov, or for ex-Foreign Minister Passy, and many others who openly support and promote criminal groups. (I am not even mentioning here for obvious reasons the ATAKA nutcases, the VMRO racists, the DPS mutra cronies and the so-called “patriots” from the right and left parties, whose activities should be also for many other reasons scrutinized by the law enforcement agencies.)
I am truly shocked by the huge support the bloodthirsty thugs who hunt down refugees and other people in Bulgaria who don’t look sufficiently “Bulgarian” with machetes, clubs, and other murder weapons have in public and social media and in all layers of Bulgarian society. The level of verbal and physical brutality, the open racism I witness every time I am in Bulgaria against minorities and vulnerable groups is deeply disturbing and I have recently more and more moments when I am becoming very pessimistic regarding the long-term perspectives for this country, which seems – as I think now frequently – to have lost its soul, heart and ethics. And even its mind.
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