Sofia Mayor Refuses Permit for Torch-Lit Lukov March
Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova has refused to issue permission for the holding of a torchlight procession in honour of a Bulgarian army general known for his pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic activities during WWII.
Fandakova told a sitting of the Sofia Municipal Council that the refusal was aimed at preventing violation of public order and was based on opinions submitted by the Interior Ministry, the Chief Prosecutor’s and the State Agency for National Security DANS, BNR radio station reported.
The participants in the so-called Lukov March will be only allowed to lay flowers at a memorial plaque in central Sofia.
The annual Lukov March has been held in Sofia since 2003, organised by far-right Bulgarian National Union. The torchlight processions have drawn criticism from all sides of Bulgaria’s political spectrum as well as human rights groups for promoting xenophobia and racial hatred. This year it is scheduled to take place on 14 February.
The organisers of the procession have denied accusations the event is a display of neo-Nazi political views, saying the march is only intended to honour the memory of a Bulgarian hero.
Lukov was War Minister (1935-1938) and the leader of the radical nationalist Union of Bulgarian National Legions, a staunchly pro-Nazi organisation (1932-1943). He was assassinated by members of Communist resistance groups in 1943.
Last year, the march was held despite a ban issued by Fandakova.
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