The hunger strike of Jock Palfreeman in protest of corruption and abuse of power in Sofia prison continues – 16 days today. Palfreeman is the Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association for Rehabilitation (BPRA). BPRA is the only NGO in Bulgaria for direct representation and advocacy of prisoners’ rights. In the last two years, BPRA and Palfreeman have been subjected to constant repressions, inspired and supported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.
During the hunger strike, the repressions of Palfreeman from Bulgarian prison authorities have continued. These include harassment and threats by prison guards, denial of access to prison facilities, isolation from other prisoners during outdoors time, and his placement for medical observation at the Infectious Disease Unit of the Sofia Prison Hospital.
Since the beginning of the hunger strike, Bulgarian Diaspora and Friends has sent information on the case and has asked accountability questions to the government of Bulgaria – Ministry of Justice and Council of Ministers, as well as to the government of Norway – the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The government of Norway is the partner to the Bulgarian government on a current 30 million Euro grant from Norway for Justice reform in Bulgaria.
During the hunger strike, Bulgarian and Norwegian media have made publications on the case. So far, Bulgarian Diaspora and Friends has not received any response to our accountability questions, neither from the Bulgarian, nor from the Norwegian government.
For more information, see our previous press release, April 26, 2019.
Bulgarian Diaspora and Friends, New York