NGO Advises Sofia Mayor against Demolishing Roma Ghettos
26/07/2012 – The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) has warned Sofia Mayor Yordnka Fandakova to abstain from demolishing Roma ghettos at random because the move may breach the European Convention on Human Rights.
“Dwellings inhabited by Roma families are to be treated as their “homes”, as provided for in the ECHR, when they have been living there for many years. Their illegal status according to the domestic legislation makes no difference. Forcing the people out of their homes would constitute encroachment on their personal and family life, if they remain homeless,” BHC Chair Krasimir Kanev says in an open letter to Fandakova.
The letter comes in response to an interview of the Sofia Mayor published Thursday on Standard Daily’s front page.
The BHC finds that the following statements of Fandakova are problematic: “The illegal dwellings must be demolished by all means and the people who came from different parts of the country must return because they either have nowhere to live here or they are inhabiting illegal housing” and “everybody is welcome in Sofia but they cannot live in illegal dwellings and on terrains they do not own.”
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