Bulgarian Parliament Kills Bill Banning Rallies near Religious Temples
Bulgarian Parliament Kills Bill Banning Rallies near Religious Temples Bulgaria's Parliament has abstained from introducing a ban on protest rallies and demonstrations near religious temples, a motion motivated by the incident in May 2011 in which activists of nationalist party Ataka assaulted praying Muslims at the Sofia mosque.
The draft bill proposing the ban was initiated by MP Hristo Biserov from the ethnic Turkish party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms).
The Parliament, however, rejected it on Thursday with 17 votes in favor (of DPS Mps), 11 votes against (of the nationalist party Ataka) and 57 MPs abstaining, including MPs from the ruling center-right party GERB. According to Biserov who submit the draft bill, the new legislation was supposed to curb the “more frequent attempts for escalation of religious intolerance.”
The nationalist party Ataka countered the move by saying it would limit people's right to protest. The May 20 incident near the Banya Bashi mosque in Sofia started when a rally of the nationalist party Ataka against the loudspeakers of the mosque got out of hand.
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