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Bulgaria Human Rights ECHR Convictions Exceed 200

Date: 03.12.2009

The European Court of Human Rights has prosecuted Bulgaria for over 200 violations of human rights

Bulgaria has been convicted by the Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights on more than 200 occasions since the court's inauguration, it has been revealed.

This fact was discussed at a legal conference held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ECHR, the human rights court of European justice.

Bulgarian defense lawyers maintained that the main problem was that the country was not doing anything to overcome those defects in the law and its jurisdiction for which it is being continually sued and convicted by EHCR.

"For more than 12 years in which I have been involved in human rights defense, I myself feel uncomfortable with the fact that the grounds that Bulgaria gives for conviction are repeatedly the same", commented solicitor Emilia Nedeva.

The most frequent grounds for conviction by the ECHR are: violations of the right to liberty and security; police violence; slow juridical processes; violation of the right to a fair trial; degrading treatment; and excessive periods spent behind bars by detainees.

According to solicitor Yordanka Vandova, the fact that the Bulgarian state readily pays compensation as ordered instead of tackling the root problems, is unacceptable.

"The regular payment of compensations of a few thousand, or up to a few tens of thousand Euro for every separate case - I do not think that it gives the state the right to pay and not prevent its servants, for example policemen, from beating people", she commented.

"One cannot justify the beating of a 67-year-old grandma, even if we accept that it was true,- and it is not - just because she insulted a policeman by calling him a "prat". The beaten woman came out on " crawling on all fours", she added.

Legal experts predict that the number of Bulgarian cases before the European Court will increase “because people are convinced that it is easier and more reliable to get justice in Strasbourg than it is in our courts”.

The analysis shows that, up to the beginning of 2009, Bulgarian cases numbered 231. Of these, there was no violation of rights in 7 cases, 4 others were settled amicably, there were 7 “other judgements”, and 213 judgements of at least one violation.

Albania, meantime, shows 11 cases; Bosnia & Herzegovina - 0; Greece - 481; Moldova – 138, Romania – 480, Russia – 643; Serbia - 24; Turkey – 1 939; and Italy – 1953.

The most recent ECHR judgement involving a Bulgarian national was made on November 26, 2009, where the plaintiff was awarded EUR 5 000 damages and EUR 1 500 costs, in a case of violation of freedom of movement.

Official analysis of the ECHR

ECHR

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