Anti-Discrimination Protest to Be Held in Sofia over 'Racist Remarks' of Gov't

Society | December 21, 2014, Sunday // 11:30
Bulgaria: Anti-Discrimination Protest to Be Held in Sofia over 'Racist Remarks' of Gov't Health Minister Petar Moskov has recently come under fire following his comment that two-thirds of the assaults on medical aid teams were in Roma neighborhoods. Photo by BGNES

A demonstration targeting discrimination and racism is to be staged in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on Sunday afternoon.

The event has been organized as a response to what civil rights groups describe as "racist" remarks of politicians.

Activists are warning against the silencing of criticism vented at the government after its discriminatory comments about citizens belonging to the ethnic Roma community.

In their words, the approval for the government's actions has been more prominent than dissension voiced by the public.

Earlier in December Health Minister Petar Moskov announced a controversially perceived measure to prevent systemic attacks to which emergency medical aid teams are subject when working in certain neighborhoods across Bulgaria.

The minister explained emergency teams would not enter these areas unless their safety was guaranteed.

Moskov said about two-thirds of the attacks occur in Roma-populated neighborhoods, and his comment sparked the anger of many NGOs which accused him of using "racist" rhetoric.

Others, however, voiced their support for his steps which in their words were aimed at finally putting an end to the picture of beaten medical teams trying to provide aid across the country. Emergency aid workers also backed Moskov's move.

Meanwhile Valeri Simeonov, co-head of the nationalist coalition Patriotic Front, questioned the Roma people's human nature.

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Tags: Roma, Petar Moskov, Valeri Simeonov, medical aid, protest
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