Bulgaria regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Bulgaria's hate crime laws are a combination of specific penalty enhancements and substantive offences. The data reported to ODIHR do not present cases of hate crime, incitement to hatred and discrimination separately. The authorities responsible for collecting hate crime data are the Interior Ministry (Coordination, Information and Analysis Directorate), Supreme Judicial Council (Commission "Professional qualification, IT and statistics"), Supreme Court of Cassation (Criminal College), Supreme Prosecutor of Cassation (Analysis Unit), and the National Statistical Institute.


Official country information

Year Hate crimes recorded by police Prosecuted Sentenced About these data
2015 704 752 135
2014 617 750 117
2013 651 300 239
2012 Not available Not available Not available
2011 29 41 10
Bias motivationType of crimeRecorded by policeProsecutedSentenced
Physical assault68100
Incitement to violence1000
Desecration of graves300
Attacks against places of worship700

Hate crimes recorded by police by bias motivation

Official figures recorded 704 crimes, of which three were homicides, 681 were physical assaults, ten were incitement to violence, three were desecration of graves and seven were attacks against places of worship

As divided by type of crime:

Hate crimes recorded by police by type of crime

As divided by bias motivation:

As divided by bias motivation:

As divided by bias motivation:

As divided by bias motivation:

As divided by bias motivation:

Civil society information

Overview of incidents reported by civil society

Bias Motivation Attacks Against People Attacks Against Property
Violent Attacks Threats
Bias against Roma and Sinti310
Bias against Muslims008
Bias against Christians and members of other religions501
Grand Total18


Bias against Roma and Sinti

  • The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee reported a physical assault on a Roma child, who was shot in the chest by an air gun; one incident of threats against local Roma people via social media; and one robbery carried out by a group.
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Bias against Muslims

  • The Office of Grand Mufti in Bulgaria reported an arson attack on a mosque; an incident of damage to another mosque, in which windows were broken; five incidents of vandalism involving Islamophobic graffiti on mosques and on the building housing the Grand Mufti’s offices, including one incident in which pork was scattered in front of a mosque; and the desecration of a mosque, in which a pig's head was hung on the minaret on the first day of Ramadan.
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Bias against Christians and members of other religions

  • The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee reported two incidents of physical assaults on Jehovah's Witnesses.
    read more ›

IGO information

Racism and xenophobia, Bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity

  • Following its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Bulgarian authorities made the commitment to examine and respond to recommendations to enhance efforts to ensure that hate crimes are effectively investigated and prosecuted, including those perpetrated against LGBT people, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Other such recommendations included encouraging the reporting and proper recording of hate crimes, strengthening data-collection systems and providing training on hate crimes to law enforcement and judicial authorities.

Racism and xenophobia

  • The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, in the annual activity report following his country visit to Bulgaria, expressed concern at hate crimes targeting migrants and recommended that the authorities encourage reporting by victims and cease treating hate crimes as "hooliganism".

Key observation

ODIHR observes that the law enforcement agencies of Bulgaria have not recorded the bias motivations of hate crimes.