Bulgaria's Refugee Centers under Curfew from Monday

Society | February 2, 2015, Monday // 07:46
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Refugee Centers under Curfew from Monday The accommodation center in Harmani, Southern Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

Accommodation centers hosting asylum seekers and refugees across Bulgaria are to be imposed a curfew as of Monday, February 2.

The measure will prevent about 3700 of refugees from leaving their compounds after 20:00 EET, or 22:00 EEST in the summer.

It was introduced last week at the proposal of State Agency for Refugees (DAB)'s Chairman Nikola Kazakov three weeks after he was reappointed by the government following the dismissal of his predecessor Nikolay Chirpanliev.

Kazakov told reporters on Friday that the curfew had been in force during his previous term in office, but had been later abandoned.

Over the weekend Marko Petrov, who heads an accommodation center in Harmanli in Bulgaria's south, told Darik Radio that its residents were often out in the evenings until 1-2 AM.

Though he asserted the locals shouldn't be afraid of them, inhabitants of a number of Bulgarian towns and villages hosting such centers have raised their concerns over what they call "dangerous people" in the streets threatening their possessions and even their lives.  

Such measures are currently used in a few European countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg and Estonia.

Bulgaria is currently hosting mostly Syrians who fled the country's nearly four-year-long, devastating civil war.

The country is now expecting an additional influx of asylum seekers, with the DAB claiming it has the ability to host them as accommodation centers are used only at 61 percent of their capacity.

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Tags: refugees, asylum seekers, Nikola Kazakov, Nikolay Chirpanliev, Harmanli
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