Bulgarian PM Demands Dismissal of Officers Overstepping Powers in Football Protests
Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov has insisted on the dismissal of police officers who exceeded their authority during the recent football fans' protests on November 16. Denkov addressed these concerns during the government's weekly meeting, emphasizing the need to take action against officers who mishandled the protests against the Bulgarian Football Union leadership.
Denkov stressed that the majority of officers conducted themselves appropriately, but those who used excessive force must face consequences, emphasizing the importance of upholding media rights and ensuring journalists' safety during such events.
The protests, initially peaceful, turned violent, resulting in clashes between football hooligans and law enforcement. Several videos circulated on social media, revealing instances of police using unnecessary force against civilians and the press. This prompted calls for Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov's resignation.
Denkov emphasized the need for a comprehensive strategy to prevent similar incidents in the future, calling for police training on respecting journalists' rights during protests.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the presence of provocateurs among the demonstrators, calling for their identification, investigation, and potential conviction by the police and investigative authorities.
Denkov explicitly outlined his expectations from the Interior Ministry, seeking detailed reports on opened case files, the identification of provocateurs, and actions taken against officers who overstepped their powers. He also urged a thorough reform within the ministry to prevent such incidents and indicated that his judgment of the ministry's actions would depend on the measures taken against those responsible.
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