If you follow my blog, I am sure you know that Bulgaria faces systemic challenges in the area of rule of law and human rights. In May this year, I drew attention to Bulgaria’s deliberate breaches of the presumption of innocence, including show arrests, media trials in coordination with Bulgaria’s authorities, framing of people for political reasons, etc (see my article “Spectacular Televised Arrests, Media Trials, and Abuse of Process: The Presumption of Guilt in Bulgaria”).
The sad reality is that Bulgaria keeps losing cases before the European Court of Human Rights based on similar facts because it refuses to implement the necessary changes in the law and to alter the corrupt practices of Bulgaria’s prosecution. Out of the 588 cases Bulgaria has lost in Strasbourg since 1992 when it ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, 280 (or 48%) concern violations of Article 6 of the Convention (the right to fair trial, including the respect for the presumption of innocence). Moreover, it fails to implement EU legislation specifically aimed at ensuring fundamental rights such as Directive 2016/343 on the presumption of innocence. For years, international organizations and experts have raised concern about the excessive powers of Bulgaria’s prosecution, too.
Unless supranational bodies and organizations take action and push Bulgaria to comply with its obligations under EU law and international treaties, it seems that nothing will ever change. That is why, earlier this year I submitted a petition before the European Parliament, which can demand concrete legislative changes by liaising with Bulgaria’s government. You can support my initiative here! You have to create a profile on the website of the European Parliament and then just click support. I really appreciate your help!