Bulgaria is Accused of Torturing Afghan Refugees

KABUL (BNA) Human Rights Watch accused Bulgaria of torturing Afghan refugees, claiming that police had used dogs to attack the refugees.

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said that Bulgarian police had detained several Afghan refugees near the Turkish border with Turkey, assaulted them with dogs, stripped them naked, and stole their money.

Human Rights Watch called the Bulgarian police inhumane treatment of Afghan and other asylum seekers and returned them to Turkey without any formal interviews or asylum process.

“Bulgarian authorities are brutally pushing asylum seekers across the land border with Turkey,” said Michel Randhawa, a refugee and immigrant rights officer with Human Rights Watch.

The European Union must ensure that Bulgaria immediately stops the illegal and inhumane return to its borders and allows asylum seekers access to a fair asylum process.

Bulgarian police reportedly beat Afghan refugees while they were being held in the country or during their forced repatriation to Turkey.

Some Afghan refugees have said that Bulgarian police stole their belongings and stripped them of their clothes, and in some cases left them barefoot and only in their underwear at freezing temperatures.

Several Afghan refugees also said that Bulgarian police were using dogs against them.

Referring to Bulgaria’s discriminatory treatment of asylum seekers, the Refugee and Immigrant Rights Officer at Human Rights Watch said: “When the authorities welcome Ukrainian asylum seekers, they brutally abuse Afghans and other asylum seekers at their borders.”

Human Rights Watch has accused Bulgaria, as a member of the European Union, of breaking the law against immigrants.

Earlier, the international body criticized the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers by Greece, Britain, the United States, and Poland, and called on neutral institutions to investigate.


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