Bulgaria: Urgent Call for International Solidarity with the Prisoners in Sofia Prison

 

Immediate call for international solidarity!

In a similar statement circulated amongst prisoners in Sofia Prison, we outline the problems we have faced in the last year with the appointment of the Director Peter Krestev in April 2017. Prisoners in Bulgaria call for actions of solidarity in the early months of 2018 in solidarity with our symbolic protest actions. Bulgaria will have the European Presidency and so we call on supporters of human right to organise protests and other agitations at Bulgarian Embassies and also at the offices of the European Commission wherever they find them across Europe and Embassies internationally. The state of Bulgaria must know that the world will not tolerate its fake civilization while it tortures it’s prisoners with corrupt prison Directors.

There has never been such a protest in Bulgarian prisons (albeit symbolic) in memorable history, many of us will be persecuted and so we call on the international community to hear our cries for solidarity and not to let our sacrifices be in vain.

For many years we suffered because of the poor and illegal management of Sofia Prison – Bulgaria. The list of human rights abuses as documented by the Council of Europe was long and finally the Director responsible for the human rights abuses was removed from his position in early 2014. The Director who followed him implemented the first reforms in Sofia Prison since the 90’s, including the installation of cameras in rooms where guards torture prisoners.

Then in April 2017 the temporary government that was appointed by the President from an opposition party reinstated the dismissed Director Peter Krestev as Director of Sofia Prison. Since the discredited Director Peter Krestev has returned so too have all his old ways of running the prison where he favours and protects a narco gang who then with his protection, beat, torture, racketeer and rape us.

The Ministry of Justice has refused to speak with our representatives about the crimes committed under the management of the Director Peter Krestev. The government promised that they would return all the bureaucrats to work who were fired during the interim government but we have been lied to by the government and they openly support the return of BSP agents to Sofia Prison and instead of talk we must unite around action.

Never before in memorable history of Sofia Prison has there been a display of public sexual molestation such as when the narco-gang raped another prisoner with a chili pepper in the exercise yard. We all know these things happen, but they happen behind closed doors because the perpetrators are afraid of being caught. But never has a narco-gang been so protected that they were so confident to rape and abuse us in the yard in front of cameras, other prisoners and guards.

Again the prison is dirty and mismanaged, the prison funds are again not being used for the upkeep of the prison as it was in 2014, the embezzlement and corruption is clear to all prisoners and staff in Sofia Prison.

With the return of Peter Krestev we have had:

• Increased violence

• Increased sexual assault

• Decreased time in the exercise yard (outside)

• Stopping of sport time to play football

• Increased heroin trade

• Automatic negative reports from the Director with regards to early release

• Increased arbitrary and illegal punishments

• Abuse of power

• Decrease of rewards (privileges) for good behaviour such as 4hour visits

• Closing of work places early for holidays leaving prisoners with nothing to do

• Harassment of staff that Peter Krestev doesn’t like including attempt to frame them with false witnesses

• Harassment and prevention of attending religious activities• Arbitrary dismissal from work

The increased violence and sexual assaults are clear to us. The Director Peter Krestev almost immediately after returning from his shameful exile started reducing prisoners’ time in the exercise yard. Not only did he reduce the time in the yard for workers but for all prisoners too. On top of this we all know he has not allowed us to play football for a long time, especially in the last days before the snow falls. The law is clear that we must have time for sport outside as well as time in the exercise yard. Then he started harassing prisoners who were attending Church and Bible meetings. We are sick and tired of spending 23 hours a day in our corridors. The Director Peter Krestev wants us inside all day without activity or sport so that we go crazy with one another and fight between ourselves. We had to suffer under Krestev for many years and we cannot take anymore of him. If the Ministry of Justice will not listen to our cries for help we must SHOW them that we are united in opinion.

As is always the way with these fascists things will get worse before they get better. The prison administration that is filling their pockets with the tax payers’ money will rally around their puppet Krestev so as to keep the taps of funds open.

Immediately when Peter Krestev returned even though we have not become worse behaved Krestev systematically stopped giving rewards and privileges to all of us. Without explanation he refuses us extended visits with our family and friends.

Enough is enough! In a symbolic protest prisoners will be wearing Bulgarian tricolour ribbons as the guards have been doing in their protest and we call for the immediate removal for Peter Krestev as the Director of Sofia Prison.

Jock Palfreeman

Note from Insurrection News: If you and / or your affinity group or organization are planning protests at embassies or EU commissions then please contact the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association for indepth details about their demands. Contact details are HERE

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