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Philanthropy Advocacy (DAFNE and EFC) join Bulgarian Donors Forum and other civil society organisations from across Europe to condemn action against the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

08 October 2019

Philanthropy Advocacy (DAFNE and EFC) join the Bulgarian Donors Forum and other civil society organisations from across Europe to condemn action against the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee in an open letter.

On 30 September 2019, the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO), which is part of Bulgaria’s ruling government coalition, asked the Prosecutor General to initiate proceedings aiming at the de-registration of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. The call asked for a withdrawal of the legal status, which de-facto would mean that the organisation would be prohibited from undertaking its work. The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee promotes respect for international human rights standards and protects the rights of victims of human rights violations in Bulgaria.

In the opinion of the VMRO party, such activities constitute “interference with the judiciary”, contrary to Article 117 of the Bulgarian Constitution, which provides that the judicial power is independent. We are concerned about the threat to the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and call on the Bulgarian government to abide by its international obligations with respect to freedom of association and other fundamental freedoms.

Read the letter in full.