Asylum seekers should not be sent back to Bulgaria in light of new evidence of severe ill-treatment of Syrians

New state­ments of Syri­an asyl­um see­kers obtai­ned by PRO ASYL docu­ment their seve­re degra­ding and inhu­man tre­at­ment while in Bul­ga­ria. This new evi­dence has promp­ted PRO ASYL to call on Ger­ma­ny not to send any asyl­um see­kers to Bul­ga­ria under the Dub­lin Regu­la­ti­on.

The reports show that Syri­an fami­lies are detai­ned for several days in cold cells without access to food or water. Peop­le in refu­gee camps com­p­lain of food shor­ta­ges, poor hygie­ne, poli­ce vio­lence and cor­rup­ti­on, and over­crow­ding. Accord­ing to the state­ments, the lack of ade­qua­te medi­cal care has in some cases resul­ted in the death of asyl­um see­kers and inci­dents of racist attacks go un-chal­len­ged by Bul­ga­ri­an poli­ce.

Mrs H. K., one of the asyl­um see­kers said ‘I wish I’d died in Syria ins­tead of lan­ded in Bul­ga­ria’. One fami­ly told that they were detai­ned for three days with three other fami­lies – 20 peop­le in total – in a bar­red cell in a tem­pe­ra­tu­re of less than 10 degrees. They all had to sleep on a bare con­cre­te floor with no blan­kets even for the child­ren.

The Ger­man government is cur­r­ent­ly pre­pa­ring a high num­ber of depor­ta­ti­ons to Bul­ga­ria. In the first quar­ter of 2014, the Ger­man government has asked Bul­ga­ria to accept respon­si­bi­li­ty for 629 asyl­um see­kers under the Dub­lin Regu­la­ti­on. Sin­ce the begin­ning of 2014, more than 2,500 asyl­um see­kers have left Bul­ga­ria for else­whe­re in the EU.

In April 2014, ECRE and Amnes­ty Inter­na­tio­nal both rei­tera­ted their call for all Mem­ber Sta­tes to not send asyl­um see­kers to Bul­ga­ria under the Dub­lin Regu­la­ti­on.

For fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on

Bul­ga­ria: Bru­tal Push Backs at the Tur­kish bor­der, 25 April 2014

ECRE Wee­kly Bul­le­tin, Bul­ga­ria in vio­lent­ly pushing back migrants to Tur­key – Human Rights Watch docu­ments over 40 inci­dents of push backs invol­ving 500 peop­le, 30 April 2014

ECRE Wee­kly Bul­le­tin, Inter­view: Ilia­na Savo­va, Bul­ga­ri­an Hel­sin­ki Com­mit­tee: “The Bul­ga­ri­an Government cho­se not to react against the pos­si­ble arri­val of Syri­an refu­gees”, 11 April 2014

Video: Moha­mad in Bul­ga­ria – #Hel­pSy­ri­as­Re­fu­gees, March 2014

 Bul­ga­ria: Bru­tal Push Backs at the Tur­kish bor­der (25.04.14)