World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Bulgaria: New law a threat to human rights activists

15 January 2014

An amendment to the Criminal Code put forward by the Bulgarian government today risks being used to silence critical human rights activists, Amnesty International said.

The amended Criminal Code will be debated in Parliament in the coming months.

It introduces sentences of up to eight years for "a Bulgarian citizen, who is in the service of a foreign country or organization, or organization under foreign control/management, in order to harm the Republic."

"It is hard to see what the government is trying to achieve with this legislation other than hold a stick above heads of critical NGOs. Its provisions are incredibly vague and are not defined anywhere in the law," said Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International

The legislative proposal comes a week after the National Revenue Agency initiated an investigation into the leading national human rights group Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, particularly looking at their sources of income.

The audit was prompted by a report from members of an ultra-national party who had been accused by the human rights group of incitement of hatred and xenophobia.

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee had recently been highly vocal in its criticism of the government’s human rights record, in particular the treatment of asylum seekers.

“This is the first such audit of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee since it was founded in 1992. It submits regular annual information on its funding to the authorities as required. There have to be questions as to why they are now - suddenly - being subjected to such an audit,” said Jezerca Tigani.

Amnesty International is calling on Bulgaria’s Parliament to drop the proposed amendments to the country’s criminal code and ensure that human rights activists can continue to carry out their work.

AI Index: PRE01/015/2014

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news