Roma Evangelical Killed in Bulgaria

August 25, 2007 by  
Filed under News

The Bulgarian town of Samokov has launched an investigation in the death of the 17-year-old Roma boy Asparuh, who was beaten to death on Tuesday night. Four youngsters were detained Wednesday for starting up the fight that erupted between two groups of teenagers – Roma and Bulgarians – at the central square of the town. The two groups had a verbal conflict that quickly grew to a violent clash. The group of Bulgarian boys, who were later arrested is from the opposite side of town and may have never met Asparuh or his friends before before.

It is still not clear what had exactly happened that night to cause the clash between the youngsters. The only known part of the story so far is that Asparuh collapsed on the ground after a strong blow and was later declared dead by the paramedics, who arrived on the spot. The incident in which Asparuh was killed is not based on any ethnic prejudice, the Samokov authorities said Thursday, but the Roma population in the town was put on high alert. They even went out on protest.

The number of police patrols in the town was raised and gendarmerie was sent to prevent escalation of the social pressure. But Bulgaria\’s foreign minister Ivaylo Kalfin refuted on Thursday the claims that ethnic tension was building up in the country, in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Talking to reporters in the Black Sea town of Kavarna, Kalfin said last week\’s Roma revolt in Sofia and this week\’s mass brawl between Roma and Bulgarians in Samokov were not indicative of the overall situation in the country.