f2684d_0af30bdafb17454d847e45e070d918db.jpg_srb_p_615_820_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbOne of the brothers after the Skinheads attack in bus No 88 on June 20, 2015. The photo is taken by a neighbour in Drujba area in Sofia

Emiliya Dancheva from the Sharen Kon Web Portal spent the last night in the Pirogov Hospital in Bulgarian capital Sofia. She visited Roma twins and their father who have been beaten by Skinheads while traveling in bus No 88 on their way back home to the “Drujba” (Friendship) residential area in Sofia. The victims who are devoted Christians were coming back from church when a group of young Bulgarians suddenly attacked them with bats and brass knuckles. No one from the other passengers in the bus tried to help them. The bus driver even opened the doors to let the attackers out. We are publishing the text written by Emiliya Dancheva, Romani woman and Journalist herself, because the Roma in Bulgaria do not trust the mainstream media. The silence of major world news agencies after the Anti-Roma riots in Bulgaria also raises many questions. More than 35 people were arrested by Police and 10 people were hospitalized during the violent clashes between Bulgarians and Roma that burst out in the village of Garmen and in Orlandovtsi area in Sofia, in May and June this year.

Roma man in helpless condition after being attacked on the street by Bulgarian mob during the Anti-Roma riots in the Orlandovtsi area in Sofia. Photo taken by TV 7 on June 16, 2015.

 Anger, fear, insecurity; this is what I felt in the “Drujba” area where yesterday two brothers and their father were severely beaten up by Skinheads in the bus No 88. The residents of the area, who gathered to protest outside, after the incident, know that they are victims of political interests. They also know that the ethnic peace in the country is seriously endangered. In their opinion, the local protests cannot achieve the necessary effect, and for this reason they appealed to the Roma in Bulgaria, and especially to those living in the Sofia largest Roma neighborhoods – Philipovtsi, Fakulteta and Hristo Botev, to show their solidarity with the Roma from “Drujba”. They said, the politicians must stop using Roma as scapegoats. The very fact that similar attacks on Roma happen always around elections means for them that someone is doing something wrong considering the whole society, and the Roma issue has been used for distraction which is to divert public attention from the faults of the government. The Roma from “Drujba” are calling for peaceful protest, but they will not allow participation of people who want to exploit their discontent for political gains. “We will expel everyone who wants to use us. We do not want to hear about political parties. We are not going to vote” this was the common opinion of the protesters. The people feel panical fear for the safety of their children and their families. There is also a rise in the number of cases of attacked women from the area, who work on the streets for waste-collecting companies.

Emiliya Dancheva

For English subtitles please click the CC button. The video is taken by Emiliya Dancheva on June 21, 2015 in Drujba area, Sofia. The woman is a relative of the victims she says: "They cannot kill innocent people, it must stop! Otherwise, we will rebel too... We will go right to the American Embassy, let them decide what to do with us. If not, let them take all the Gypsies, and we will go to America or to another country, where no one will beat us and kill us without guilt."

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