European Human Rights Court Asks Bulgaria to Stop Demolition of Illegal Houses in Garmen
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has asked the Bulgarian government to stop the demolition of illegal dwellings in the Roma neighbourhood of the village of Garmen until housing has not been provided for the vulnerable families.
The court has responded to a request for urgent measures, which had been submitted by non-government organisations, ahead of the planned second stage of demolition, which is scheduled to take place on Monday.
The EctHR calls on the government to stop the demolition unless it makes a firm commitment to provide housing of the vulnerable families, daily Dnevnik reports.
The first stage of demolition of illegal buildings in the Kremikovtsi neighbourhood of Garmen municipality took place at the end of June, when four houses were demolished.
The demolition was necessitated after a series of protests against the illegal buildings, which were preceded by clashes and escalation of tension between local Bulgarian and Roma residents.
The court has asked the Bulgarian government to respond what measures it has taken to provide accommodation and support for the vulnerable persons and whether the measures foresee the separation of children from their parents.
According to the NGO, which filed the complaint, the selective unfavourable treatment of Roma people amounted to ethnic discrimination and gross violation of basic human rights, which are guaranteed in the constitution and international law.
The complaint was filed by the Equal Opportunities Initiative with the assistance of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Access to Information Programme.
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