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Commenting article: From Civil Guards to Civil Unrest - When the Law is on the Street

When citizens take the law into their own hands, it is a clear sign that the foundations of a democratic system are shaking. When the system permits this, and even justifies it, it is an alarming signal to society – an outright abdication of the state’s duties.

Last week, the leader of the far-right Bulgarian National Union, Boyan Rasate, announced the creation of civil patrols in the area near Sofia’s Central Mosque. The adjacent Pirotska Street became notorious over the past month. First, a young Bulgarian store clerk was stabbed by an Algerian asylum seeker, and several days later, a Bulgarian boy of Turkish origin was brutally beaten by several men, simply for having a “foreign appearance”.

The surrounding area of the Mosque is a common gathering place for Muslims, many of whom are refugees and immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Their number has been growing significantly over the past months, and so too have populist fears.

matthew d jackson - 23 Nov 2013 // 23:45:22

Vasil, you have it right in your commentary on the Roma as we in the UK are apparently very concerned about this group., a threat, I think not but no one can arrive in a sovereign state and expect a payout, but maybe make it repayable as a condition. I want to retire to a lovely lodge in your gorgeous country , so can I claim your state benefits akin to that available in the UK? What can I get, Mr Nice Bulgarian minister?

Fr Jack Hackett - 25 Nov 2013 // 11:16:32

The answer Matthew is nothing. When you apply for residency in Bulgaria, you will be handed a document to sign, stating that you will receive no benefits from Bulgaria. No signature, no residency

Seedy - 25 Nov 2013 // 12:47:41

In fact, Matthew - how about staying at home rather than joining the ranks of unwelcome immigrants in Bulgaria? We already have more than our fair share of drunken, arrogant and illiterate toe-rags from Perfidious Albion...

John Brown - 26 Nov 2013 // 09:01:04

This is hardly "citizens taking law in their hands". It sounds rather like a return to the dark communist times, with informers and lackeys on every street. If citizens really took justice in their hands, they just could get rid of those "patrols" of thugs. Do you think it's possible in Sofia?

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