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Print - KOLIKO KOŠTA ROMSKI ŽIVOT?

EUROPSKI SUD POTVRDIO INSTITUCIONALNU DISKRIMINACIJU U BUGARSKOJ

22. 10. 2020.
KOLIKO KOŠTA ROMSKI ŽIVOT?

Kančo Angelov i Kiril Petkov, dvojica Roma iz Bugarske, ove godine proslavili bi 45. rođendan, da nisu ubijeni u srpnju 1996. godine, kada su imali tek 21 godinu.  Mladići su ubijeni u selu Lesura, na sjeverozapadu Bugarske, gdje su boravili u kući Kančove bake. Policija je upucala dvojicu neagresivnih i nenaaoružanih Roma u trenutku kada su pokušavali pobjeći kako ne bi bili uhićeni. Razlog kobne policijske akcije bio je bjekstvo mladića iz vojne službe u bugarskoj vojsci.

Autor: Božidar Kolov
Prijevod: Milica Kuzmanović

Godine 1996., Kančo i Kiril bili su regruti u građevinskim snagama, vojnoj diviziji za izgradnju stambenih blokova i provođenje drugih civilnih projekata. Treba spomenuti kako su do 2000. godine gotovo svi Romi i Turci u Bugarskoj bili regrutirani u ovu diviziju, jer su zbog svoje nacionalne pripadnosti smatrani nepodobnim i nepouzdanim za borbene snage. Ova praksa institucionalizirala je ksenofobični stav prema dvjema najvećim nacionalnim manjinama u Bugarskoj i učvrstila njihov marginalni položaj u društvu. Tokom služenja u građevinskim snagama, Romi regruti su često doživljavali sve vrste eksploatacije, ponižavanja i zlostavljanja.

Stoga, nije teško shvatiti zašto su Kančo i Kiril više puta odsustvovali s vojnih "dužnosti". Zbog toga su 1996. godine uhićeni i osuđeni na nekoliko mjeseci zatvora. Međutim, u srpnju su uspjeli pobjeći s gradilišta koje se nalazilo izvan zatvora, a na koje su odvođeni kako bi radili. Nakon što su pobjegli, mladići su otišli u Lesuru, gdje su se skrivali u kući Kančove bake. Već sutradan su njihova imena bila na listi potjerenica vojne policije.

Četvorica časnika, od kojih su neki nosili pancire i bili naoružani pištoljima i automatskim puškama, ušli su u selo 19. srpnja, te su brzo pronašli kuću u kojoj su se mladići skrivali. Kad su Kančo i Kiril ugledali časnike kako se približavaju, pokušali su pobjeći kroz prozor prema susjedinom dvorištu. Međutim, časnik koji je vodio operaciju, major G., nakon što je nekoliko puta uzviknuo „Stani, policija!“ odlučio je pucati iz svog automatskog oružja. Mladići su smrtno ranjeni, te su na putu do bolnice preminuli od zadobivenih povreda. Prema riječima jednog od svjedoka, odmah nakon pucnjave, major G. je povikao "Prokleti Cigani!", upirući pištolj u njega.

Osam godina kasnije, nakon što bugarsko pravosuđe nije osudilo počinitelje, Europski sud za ljudska prava jednoglasno je presudio kako je pucnjavom i neučinkovitom istragom prekršen članak 2. koji se odnosi na pravo na život, a nedostatkom istrage da li su diskriminirajući stavovi bili relevantni u ovoj pucnjavi, smatra se kršenjem članka 14. koji se odnosi na nediskriminacija. Na zahtjev bugarske vlade slučaj je upućen Velikom vijeću Suda.

U srpnju 2005. godine, najviše europsko tijelo za ljudska prava potvrdio je prvi slučaj rasne diskriminacije kršenjem članka 14. Europske konvencije o ljudskim pravima zbog neuspjeha bugarskih vlasti da istraže rasističke motive iza događaja koji su prouzrokovali smrti dvojice mladića.

Ova presuda Suda je zapravo priznaje kako je diskriminacije u Bugarskoj institucionalizirana. Kada se vlasti i sudstvo ne bave ksenofobijom koju izražava pojedini policajac, to znači da i država kao takva podržava različit tretman svojih građana. Bez obzira da je li riječ o klasi, nacionalnoj pripadnosti, spolu, invaliditetu, dobi ili bilo kakvoj različitosti, jasno je kako biti drugačiji u Bugarskoj može značiti da vaš život manje vrijedi.

Romske zajednice u Bugarskoj znaju to jako dobro. Mnogi od njih su zarobljenji u začaranom krugu diskriminacije, zloupotreba institucija i izostanka ravnopravnog pristupa obrazovanju i zdravstvenom sustavu s jedne strane i veće izloženosti nezaposlenosti, kriminalu, nasilju i siromaštu s druge strane.

Očito je kako se ta situacija može promjeniti samo kroz političke i socijalne promjene jer to nije samo ''Romski problem'' već problem cijelog bugarskog društva. Do tada, oni koji su na vlasti, bez obzira na njihovu nacionalnu pripadnost će imati koristi od podjela u zemlji i činiće sve što mogu da se te podjele nastave.

 

 

HOW MUCH DOES A ROMA LIFE COST?

Kancho Angelov and Kiril Petkov, two Roma from Bulgaria, would have celebrated their 45th birthdays this year if they weren’t killed in July 1996. Only 21 years old back then, the two youngsters were shot in the village of Lesura, Northwest Bulgaria, where they stayed in the house of Kancho’s grandmother. Inoffensive and unarmed, the two Roma were blasted in the back by the military police as they were trying to run away from arrest. The rationale behind the fatal police operation was that the boys had slipped away from military service in the Bulgarian Army.

In 1996, Kancho and Kiril were conscripts in the Construction Forces, a division of the army dealing with the construction of apartment blocks and other civilian projects. It is worth mentioning that until 2000 virtually all Roma and Turks in Bulgaria were conscripted in this division as they were seen unfit and unreliable for the combat forces due to their ethnic origin. This practice institutionalized the xenophobic attitudes towards the two biggest ethnic minorities in the country and it perpetuated their marginal positions in society. During their service in the Construction Forces, Roma conscripts have often experienced all sorts of exploitation, humiliation, and abuse.

That said, it is not hard to imagine why Kancho and Kiril were repeatedly absent from their “duties” in the military. For that reason, they were arrested earlier in 1996 and sentenced to several months’ imprisonment each.  In July, however, they managed to flee from the construction site outside the prison where they had been brought for work. After running away, the two youngsters travelled to Lesura, where they found refuge in Kancho’s grandmother’s house. On the following day, their names were put on the military police's wanted list.

On July 19th four officers, some of which were wearing bullet-proof vests and were armed with handguns and automatic rifles entered the village and quickly found the house in question. When Kancho and Kiril saw the officers approaching, they tried to escape through the window towards the neighbour’s yard. The head of the operation, Major G., however, decided to shoot with his automatic weapon after shouting several times “Freeze, police!”. The boys got fatally wounded and died on the way to the hospital.  According to one of the witnesses’ testimony, immediately after the shooting, Major G yelled "You damn Gypsies!" while pointing a gun at him.

Eight years later, after the failure of the Bulgarian judicial system to hold the perpetrators responsible,     the European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that there had been violations of Article 2 (right to life) concerning both the shootings and the lack of an effective investigation and violations of Article 14 (non-discrimination) concerning the lack of an investigation into whether discriminatory attitudes played a role in the shootings and concerning the shootings themselves. At the Bulgarian government's request, the case was referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court.

In July 2005, Europe’s highest human rights authority affirmed its first ever finding of racial discrimination in breach of Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights for the failure of the Bulgarian authorities to investigate racist motives behind the events that led to the deaths of the two young men.

This ruling of the Court recognizes, in effect, the institutionalization of discrimination in Bulgaria. When all levels of government and judiciary fail to address the xenophobia expressed by an individual policemen that means that the state as such endorses different treatment of its citizens. Whether it is class, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or whatever difference for that matter, it is clear that being different in Bulgaria might mean that your life costs less.

The Roma communities in Bulgaria know this all too well. For many of them are trapped in the vicious circle of discrimination, institutional abuse, and lack of equal access to education and healthcare on one hand and a higher exposure to unemployment, crime, violence, and poverty on the other.

It is clear that this situation can change only when political and social change takes place, for it is not a “Roma problem”, but a problem of the Bulgarian society as a whole. Until then, the ones in power – from all ethnicities will benefit from the divisions in the country and will try their best to perpetuate them.

 

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