US: Roma Marginalization Remains Bulgaria’s Most Pressing Problem
The marginalization of the Romani minority remains Bulgaria’s most pressing human rights problem, according to the annual US Department of State report on human rights practices.
The report has drawn attention to the continued deterioration of Bulgaria’s media environment and increase in media self-censorship due to corporate and political pressure.
Corruption continues to be a drag on the government’s capabilities and undermines public and business confidence in the judiciary and other government institutions, the US Department of State continues.
Other human rights problems, according to the report, include overcrowding and harsh conditions in prisons and detention facilities.
“There were also long delays in the judicial system; reports of abuse of wiretapping; religious discrimination and harassment; harsh conditions in refugee centers; violence and discrimination against women; violence against children; increasing online anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; discrimination against members of the Romani and Turkish ethnic minorities; and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and persons with HIV/AIDS,” the report says.
The 2013 annual report has noted that Bulgaria’s government has taken steps to prosecute and punish officials in the security services and elsewhere in the government who committed abuses, however claims that their actions were insufficient, and impunity remained a problem.
The full report can be read here.