Bulgaria

ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

7 September 1992

Number of implemented cases*

516

Examples

Man given 3 months’ detention for a crime he didn’t commit - and reforms to protect the right to liberty

Locked in a windowless cell, I. I. spent 3 months in pre-trial detention for a crime he did not commit. After he developed various illnesses, the charges against I.I. were dropped because of a lack of evidence and he was released. Following a series of similar cases, the law in Bulgaria was changed to protect people’s right to liberty.

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Reform of gun laws after police shoot dead unarmed men

Two 21-year-olds absconded from military service and went to see their grandmother. When military police arrived, the men were unarmed and non-violent - and tried to run away. Nevertheless, they were shot dead. The Strasbourg court ruled that the military police had used grossly excessive force. This case, and others, led to changes in the rules on the authorities’ use of firearms.

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Reforms to prevent government interference with religious organisations

In 1995 the Bulgarian government removed the elected Chief Mufti of Bulgarian Muslims and appointed a different leader. The Strasbourg court ruled that this had been arbitrary government interference with a religious organisation, which breached the right to religious freedom. A new law was passed to end government control over the registration of religious groups.

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* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.