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PACE rapporteurs express concern at violence during parliament rally in Sofia

Sofia, Bulgaria

PACE’s co-rapporteurs for post-monitoring dialogue with Bulgaria, Frank Schwabe (Germany, SOC) and Aleksander Pociej (Poland, EPP/CD), have expressed their concern at the violent developments which took place during a rally outside the Bulgarian parliament in Sofia on Wednesday.

“We are alarmed to hear that at least 55 people were hurt and almost 100 arrested,” they said. “While we stress that all demonstrations should be held in full respect for the law and without use of violence, we call on the authorities to take all steps necessary to ensure the safety and security of peaceful protesters.

“As co-rapporteurs for post-monitoring dialogue with Bulgaria, we have been closely following recent political developments in the country. We call on the Bulgarian authorities to comply with their European commitments and obligations and address the justified demands of the protesters, in particular on combating corruption, reforming the judiciary and ensuring media freedom,” they said.

“The progress made in these areas will be assessed in the report which will be submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly early next year,” they concluded.