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 separately cases of hate crime, incitement to hatred and discrimination. The authorities responsible for collecting hate crime data are the Interior Ministry's Co-ordination, Information and Analysis Directorate, the Supreme Judicial Council's Commission on Professional qualification, IT and statistics, the Supreme Court of Cassation's Criminal College, the Supreme Prosecutor of Cassation's Analysis Unit, and the National Statistical Institute.
Incidents reported by civil society, international organizations and the Holy See
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.read more ›
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.read more ›
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee reported two incidents of physical assaults on Jehovah's Witnesses.read more ›
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.
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".
ODIHR observes that the law enforcement agencies of Bulgaria have not recorded the bias motivations of hate crimes.