Bulgaria Bulgaria


ECRI Report, (fifth monitoring cycle). Published on 16 September 2014

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Monitoring body


ECRI | European Commission against Racism and Intolerance | Council of Europe

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia Discrimination

Target Population

Muslims Migrants Ethnic minorities People with migrant background Refugees & asylum seekers

Key findings

The situation throughout Bulgaria became extremely tense in the final months of 2013 with an explosion of xenophobic hate speech against refugees from Syria.
The Chief Mufti’s Office has documented incidents of harassment and violence against the Muslim community, including threats against Muslim women with headscarves, setting dogs on them, spitting on them, throwing liquids on them; painting the walls of religious schools and mosques with the slogans Death to the Turks and Bulgaria for the Bulgarians; desecrating and setting fire to mosques; damage to mosque property; and physical attacks on imams and mosque guards. The Jewish community has reported an increased number of antisemitic incidents.

Racist violence has escalated since last ECRI report (2009).
There has been a pronounced increase in incitement to Islamophobia. The authorities rarely voice any counter-Hate speech message to the public. Few cases of hate speech have reached court and the conviction rate is low.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

The working methods for the preparation of the reports involve documentary analyses, a visit to the country concerned, and then a confidential dialogue with the national authorities.

Sample details and representativeness

ECRI’s reports are analyses based on a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.