On July 14th, Bulgarians took to the streets for the 6th straight day of protests against corruption in the high levels of government and the judicial system.
In addition to the capital of Sofia, there were protests in 14 other major cities. The biggest protest took place in Sofia, with approximately 50,000 in attendance.
Trying to ride the wave, Bulgaria’s president, Rumen Radev, has backed protesters saying the centre-right government’s prime minister, Boyko Borissov, and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev, should step down.
Geshev last week ordered police to raid the president’s office and arrest two of his aides, on suspicion of disclosure of classified documents and influence peddling.
Radev posted a statement on Facebook and Twitter saying the “protest against the mafia in power is becoming a campaign” and that there “is no power to stop us as long as we are wise and relentless”.
Borissov also took to social media to call for peaceful protests, adding: “I respect everyone’s right to protest. My door has always been open for dialogue.”
“Power is given to us by the people and we exercise it with responsibility,” he added.
The US Embassy in Sofia issued a statement in support of the protests, and against all logic Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev issued a statement of his own, thanking the US for its support, when the protests are against him, among others.
“The right to peacefully assemble is a fundamental democratic value. Demonstrations and protests are a sign of a thriving, vibrant civil society. Peaceful protest has played a key role in the United States’ 244-year-old democracy. Every nation deserves a judicial system that is non-partisan and accountable to the rule of law. We support the Bulgarian people as you peacefully advocate for increased faith in your democratic system and promote the rule of law in Bulgaria. No one is above the law.”
The protests erupted when an opposition figure, Hristo Ivanov, on July 7th debarked at Rosenec Beach, and was greeted and forcefully removed by the guards of the honorary leader of the Movement of Rights and Freedoms (DPS) Ahmed Dogan, an ethnically Turkish party.
The beach is supposed to be state-public property and everybody needs to have free access to it, but it is practically prohibited, via protection by the National Service For Protection (NSP, Bulgaria’s national security service).
Immediately after that, Prime Minister Borissov said that President Radev needs to take responsibility for the removal of NSP detail from Dogan, and another member of the DPS party – Delyan Peevski.
According to Borissov, the whole video was directed and everyone behaves like artists.”When there is a scenario, there are director, too”, he said.
“Of course the scene is over, they get in the car and go where? To support the president. What is Hristo Ivanov doing, supports the one who directly attacked him, the one who runs the NSP. And he wants to hold Borissov responsible for that, why?” Borissov asked.
Regardless, protesters are taking to the streets against the government, wide-ranging corruption and against the honorary chairman of DPS, Ahmed Dogan, who is a known political oligarch in Bulgaria.
Ahmed Dogan is a convicted terrorist in Bulgaria, and the DPS party was first established in 1990.
The official website of the party traces the roots of the foundation to 1983 when an illegal terrorist group Turkish National Freedom Movement was established, which committed over 50 fire-raisings, bomb attempts and murders on regular citizens until 1989 as a rebellion against the assimilation policies of Todor Zhivkov’s communist regime.
The predominantly Turkish-ethnic party carried out attacks on ethnic Bulgarians.
After he had been set free out of the jail in 1989, Ahmed Dogan, a former member of the Bulgarian communist secret service (the Committee for State Security), established the party. He headed it from its official establishment on 4 January 1990 until 19 January 2013, when a disgruntled Bulgarian Turk attacked him with a gas pistol.
Ahmed Dogan has been openly recorded promoting changes of the international boundaries in accordance with the ethnic borders, clarifying that there are either peaceful and political means for this or military and aggressive.
Ahmed Dogan is also banned from entering Turkey by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Against all logic, European ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) party, Hans van Baalen issued a statement in support of Dogan, a convicted terrorist.
MRF President of Honour Ahmed Dogan introduced ethnic peace in Bulgaria. He should be treated with respect. It is a shame that extremists are attacking him and his property. @dps_news pic.twitter.com/MzuWj98RUM
— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) July 14, 2020
The extremists van Baalen refers to are Bulgarian citizens who went to protest in front of the beach that is illegally closed off by Ahmed Dogan. Those citizens sat there, drank coffee and took sun baths, there was no violence.
Since the protests began, there has been 1 example of violence and it was of police officers kicking arrested individuals who were laying defenseless on the ground.
There hasn’t been a single window broken or any other form of violence by these “extremists” as described by the leader of the European Liberals, and this is an example of itself of the supreme hypocrisy of the agenda that is being pushed.
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