In my article “How to Purge a Scholar? A Guide to Bogus Interpol Notices from Bulgaria,” which was covered by mainstream Bulgaria media and read tens of thousands of times, I showcased Bulgaria’s deliberate abuse of Interpol notices for political aims. In addition to the frightening Red Notice, which Bulgaria’s prosecution uses to publicly lynch inconvenient people, Bulgarian authorities have added a new tool in their rich arsenal for political repression–Interpol’s Diffusion notice.
In retaliation for my father’s application under the US Magnitsky Act, Bulgaria’s prosecution attacked me in brutal violation of Bulgarian and EU law. They raised fabricated charges, issued a national arrest warrant, a European Arrest Warrant and a Diffusion notice for countries in which I was supposed to present my research—all on the same day. This is evidence that they have abused Interpol’s system in at least two major ways. Firstly, Interpol’s notices should be used for people whose location is unknown: clearly, Bulgaria’s prosecution knew my whereabouts very well. Secondly, Diffusion notices are supposed to be used in cases of emergency such as terrorism, a major threat to national security or an imminent crime—for Bulgaria’s authorities, presenting scholarly research at international conferences apparently is equivalent to a threat to national security.
If the topic is of interested, you can watch my video blog post “How Bulgaria Retaliated Against an Application Under the Magnitsky Act”:
Moreover, if you believe international instruments should not be misused for personal vendettas, you can sign my petition in support of Tzvetan Vassilev’s application under the US Magnitsky Act here.