HRW: EU Should Urge Bulgaria to Investigate Reports of Abuse of Migrants

Views on BG | February 17, 2016, Wednesday // 09:26
Bulgaria: HRW: EU Should Urge Bulgaria to Investigate Reports of Abuse of Migrants The border fence near Lesovo, on the Bulgaria-Turkey border. File photo, BGNES

The European Commission should "forcefully remind Bulgaria of EU laws and standards" and call on authorities to investigate "credible reports of abuses," Human Rights Watch has said.

It cites the story of a migrant named Abdullah (for the sake of the story) who claims to have been beaten by Bulgarian border police officers, the latter also stealing his personal belongings as he was crossing into the country.

Taking the occasion of a visit by EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to Sofia. The commissioner told Bulgarian authorities last week Bulgaria was acting in respect of migrants' human rights.

"While Bulgaria has the right to protect its borders, it doesn’t have the right to summarily return people to Turkey or physically abuse them. By focusing on border protection, Avramopoulos missed the chance to press Bulgaria on violence against migrants and asylum seekers," HRW argues.

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Tags: Dimitris Avramopoulos, migrants, refugees, human rights watch
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