The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), along with its Bulgarian partner Equal Opportunities Association (EOA), represent the Dobri Jeliazkov community in Sofia, Bulgaria in their struggle to prevent the forced eviction of their community.
The Dobri Jeliazkov community consists of impoverished Roma and has been in existence for over 70 years. Currently 34 individuals live in the community, 15 of whom are minor children. The Dobri Jeliazkov community faced imminent forced eviction and destruction of their homes in July 2011, when the GI-ESCR and EOA launched a case before the Human Rights Committee that resulted in the first ever Interim Measures by the Committee to prevent a forced eviction. Until last month, those Interim Measures had been effective. That case, Ms. Naidenova et al. v. Republic of Bulgaria, Communication No. 2073/2011, is still pending.
Now, in an attempt to forcibly evict the Dobri Jeliazkov community, on 29 April 2012 the Municipality of Sofia had the water company, Sofiyska voda, cut off the water supply to the Dobri Jeliazkov community. The community now has no access to running water. The GI-ESCR urgently notified the Human Rights Committee of the situation as well as the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, and the Independent Expert on Minority Issues requesting that they intervene with the Republic of Bulgaria and urge it to abide by its obligations to protect and to ensure the human rights of the Dobri Jeliazkov community, including by directing the relevant authorities, including the Municipality of Sofia and the water company, Sofiyska voda, immediately to reconnect access to water for the Dobri Jeliazkov community.
For more information, including relevant case filings, see HERE.
Those who want to protest these latest human right violations can direct letters to:
Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia
Street “Moskovska” No 33
Commission for Protection against Discrimination
Kemal Eub, Chairperson
bul. “Dragan Tsankov “ 35
On 9 May 2012 the Human Rights Committee intervened with the Government of Bulgaria and reminded it “not to evict Ms. Liliana Naidenova et a.l., and not to demolish their dwellings, while their case is under consideration by the Committee.” The Committee also stated that “While Ms. Liliana Naidenova et al. have not been forcibly evicted, cutting off the water supply to the Dobri Jeliazkov community could be considered an indirect means of achieving eviction.” The Committee consequently called upon the Government of Bulgaria to ensure that the water supply be re-established to the Dobri Jeliazkov community.