No Protesting Students Locked Up at Bulgaria's Southwest University
The President of the Southwest University "Neofit Rilski" in Bulgaria's Blagoevgrad assured that no students had been locked up inside the building.
Prof. Ivan Mirchev issued a statement Tuesday in response to allegations of two students who remained in an occupied hall of the university, staging yet another blockade in protest against the socialist-led government.
Bulgarian students have staged sit-ins at a number of universities across the country, seeking the resignation of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski over graft allegations.
Mirchev, as cited by struma.bg, insisted that being locked up at some place meant that you were prevented from leaving, which was not the case.
He made clear that he had issued an ordinance to lock up all of the 8 buildings of the university in an attempt to cut heating, electricity, water, and telephone bills.
Stressing that it was a common practice in western countries, he suggested that the decision of certain people to stay in the building illegally was entirely their problem.
"I believe that occupying something which is not functioning is nonsense. This is a building where people study, not live" he added.
He assured that anybody was free to exit the building and rejected claims that the students who were staying inside had been left without food supplies.
Under an ordinance issued on Monday, which will remain in effect until January 13, access to the university building was restricted, with protesting students only being allowed to leave the premises without an opportunity to return to the occupied hall.
Despite the ordinance, two students decided to stay inside.
Protests against the socialist-led coalition government started on June 14, after the appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security (DANS).
Although the number of protesters has decreased substantially, the anti-government rallies are still underway.