Press Release: Bulgarian and International Organizations Demand Immediate Justice for Mihail Stoyanov
On November 16, 2012 – Mihail’s birthday and the International Day of Tolerance, citizens will gather in front of the Palace of Justice in Sofia to demand justice for Mihail.
Tomorrow, November 16, at 18:00, people will gather in front of the Palace of Justice in Sofia, to demand justice for Mihail Stoyanov. They condemn the blindness of the Bulgarian justice system to hate crimes based on (alleged) sexual orientation and demand the immediate resolution of the case. The campaign is coordinated by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC).
November 16 is the International Day of Tolerance and Mihail’s birthday. Tomorrow, he would have turned 30. The medical student was killed on September 30, 2008 in Borissova Garden in Sofia. Mihail was attacked, because his murderers believed he was gay.
Today, the two suspected for the brutal murder have not been accused by the court, while a few months ago, at the time under house arrest, they were released on bail, since the maximum period, provided by the law for pre-trial detention, had expired.
Three witnesses confirmed that they were in Borissova Garden on the night of the murder and saw the two suspects murder Mihail. All of them were part of a group, which claims to be purging the Garden of gays.
The investigation ended on May 28, 2012. Formally, the case is still open, since all correspondence regarding the case was presented on November 5, 2012. The final decision is due to be made by the Prosecutor. However, it remains unclear why the procedure is so cumbersome and publicity regarding the case is often avoided.
On September 25th, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the international human rights organization Amnesty International sent a letter, stating their deep concern regarding the lack of development in the case of Mihail Stoyanov’s murder. The letter was addressed to the case’s Prosecutor – Mr. Dragomir Yanchev from the Sofia City Prosecutor’s office. Both organizations urge that the Prosecutor immediately present the findings from the investigation results. If there is enough evidence gathered against the suspects, Mr. Yanchev should indict them so that they are tried according to international standards and if not, he should reopen the investigation so that those guilty of the murder be brought to justice.
Despite assurances that an official response has been sent by the Prosecutor of the case, Dragomir Yanchev, such a letter has not yet been received by either organization.
During September, a massive international campaign started, calling for the justice of Mihail Stoyanov. The campaign is led by Amnesty International’s local offices across the world and is supported by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. In this way that Amnesty International – Norway collected nearly 14 000 signatures under the petition that will be sent to the Prosecutor Dragomir Yanchev. Coordinated actions were also organized in countries such as Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Italy, Hungary and Australia.
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee calls on all citizens to send personal messages to the Mihail’s mother – Christina Stoyanova or to the case’s Prosecutor Dragomir Yanchev on this page: https://www.facebook.com/Justice4Mihail
Let’s ask for justice for Mihail NOW!