U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information transmitted to the Government

60. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which members of the Roma community were frequently subjected to torture or ill-treatment by the police, after being taken into custody under accusation of petty criminal offences. Several incidents had also been reported of excessive use of force by the police, including indiscriminate beating of men, women and children, in Roma community neighbourhoods, such as those which had taken place in Pazardjik on 28 June 1992 and Novi Pazar on 5 April 1993. The individual cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

61. Anton Stefanov Assenov, aged 14, and his father, Stefan Assenov Ivanov, were allegedly kicked and beaten with fists and truncheons at the bus station in Shumen, by police officers who claimed that the boy had been caught gambling. Subsequently, they were taken to the police station where Anton Stefanov was beaten again, handcuffed to a radiator for two hours and then released without charges. Two days later he was examined by a doctor who reportedly stated that the injuries, bruises on his head, back, chest and right armpit, were consistent with the alleged beatings. Complaints were filed with the Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior and the Varna Military Prosecutor but, so far, without success.

62. Khristo Nedialkov Khristov was arrested on 24 March 1993 in Stara Zagora by a group of police officers who accused him of attempting to steal copper wire. Immediately after his arrest he was reportedly beaten with truncheons and kicked with heavy boots all over the body. As soon as he was released,the following day, he had to be taken to the district hospital. On 28 March his condition deteriorated and he had to undergo a surgical intervention during which a part of his lung and a kidney were removed.

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