Human Rights Watch: Asylum seekers are summarily expelled from Bulgaria

Asylum seekers in Bulgaria, October, 2013

(Sofia) – Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others as they irregularly cross the border from Turkey.

The 76-page report, “Containment Plan: Bulgaria’s Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and other Asylum Seekers and Migrants,” documents how in recent months Bulgarian border police, often using excessive force, have summarily returned people who appear to be asylum seekers to Turkey.

The people have been forced back across the border without proper procedures and with no opportunity to lodge asylum claims. Bulgaria should end summary expulsions at the Turkish border, stop the excessive use of force by border guards, and improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention in police stations and migrant detention centers.

“Slamming the door on refugees is not the way to deal with an increase in people seeking protection,” said Bill Frelick, refugee rights program director at Human Rights Watch. “The right way, simply, is for Bulgarian authorities to examine asylum seekers’ claims and treat them decently…”

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Oh, do f&ck off!  Bulgaria is right. Muslim refugees should go to Muslim countries only.  Saudi Arabia could take a few, for a start.

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