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02 sept. 2020 | 10h41 UTC

Bulgaria: Police utilize pepper-spray to disperse protesters in Sofia on September 2 /update 11

Bulgaria Alerte de sécurité

Police utilize pepper-spray to disperse protesters in Sofia on September 2; avoid all demonstrations

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/9/2020, 12h00 until 4/9/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Sofia). COUNTRY/REGION Bulgaria, Sofia

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Event

On Wednesday, September 2, police reportedly utilized pepper-spray to disperse protesters that had gathered in central Sofia in front of parliament. Thousands of demonstrators gathered to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, with Wednesday's protest reported to be one of the largest to have taken place in the last two months. Protesters reportedly shook police vehicles and threw projectiles at security forces, with multiple individuals having been arrested in response.

Nationwide anti-government protests have been called for on September 2. Barricades remain in place in Sofia and other cities, including Varna and Plovdiv, as protesters continue to denounce alleged government corruption, among other grievances. Protests have been taking place for 53 consecutive days.

Bulgaria's Justice Minister Danail Kirilov resigned on Wednesday, August 26, amid criticism of his failure to address alleged corruption. Kirilov is the fifth government minister to resign since protests began in July. September 2 coincides with the date the government is expected to give its decision on Kirilov's resignation.

Demonstrations are to be anticipated across the country and associated disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any protest site.

Context

Protests were sparked in Bulgaria after a raid was conducted on July 9, by the Prosecutor-General's Office on the presidential headquarters, which protesters and opponents believe was ordered by Prime Minister Borisov. President Rumen Radev's legal affairs and anti-corruption secretary and his security and defense adviser were detained for questioning and their offices searched as part of probes into alleged influence-peddling and disclosure of state secrets. The searches sparked public anger and brought thousands of demonstrators onto the streets of Sofia to condemn the raids as an attack by the government and the prosecutor-general against Radev.

Advice

Those in Bulgaria are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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