No Incidents as Bulgarian Neo-Nazis Attempt to Hold Annual March
No incidents have been reported as of 7 pm EET Saturday, as Bulgarian neo-Nazi groups attempted to hold their annual march in the capital Sofia.
At 5:40 pm EET, some 500 participants in the march gathered near Sofia’s St. Alexender Nevsky cathedral. Police checked the documents of those who appeared more suspicious.
At 6:30, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova officially banned the event, as requested by the Interior Ministry.
The move meant that police were enabled to restore public order by all possible means.
There was strong police presence in downtown Sofia, including near the city’s Banya Bashi mosque, as authorities feared that demonstrators might stage an attack on the temple.
Earlier this week, Fandakova refused to issue a permit for the annual torch-lit march commemorating controversial General Hristo Lukov.
However, the organizers of the neo-Nazi march claimed the legal deadline for banning the event had expired, meaning that it did not need a permission in order to take place.
Lukov (1887-1943) was the commanding General of the 13th Division of the Bulgarian Kingdom's Army during World War I, and later a Minister of War. During the Second World War he was a great supporter of the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany. He was the leader of the right extremist Union of Bulgarian National Legions.
The march had taken place each year since 2003, attracting various extremist and neo-Nazi groups from Bulgaria and abroad.
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