On April 21st, 2014 Border Monitoring Bulgaria (BMB) recorded yet another case of a push-back of a single Syrian mother with her four children (10, 17, 22, 24 years old) accompanied by severe police violence. Relatives reported that in their attempt to receive protection in Bulgaria, the family was forcefully returned to Turkey. After a day spent in Bulgaria, the family now finds itself in Turkey without their request for asylum having been respected, heard, or evaluated. BMB spoke to the victims who are now in a Turkish hospital treating their broken limbs and ribs.
Since the beginning of April 2014, several protests took place in Sofia, agains the restriction of freedom of movement for refugees with a humanitarian status in Bulgaria. Sometimes the protest went in the front of the representation of the European Council and the European parliament at Georgi Rakovski Street (See videos: 1, 2).
In the middle of April 2014, hundreds of refugees with humanitarian and refugee status gathered at the Airport in Sofia to fly with Austrian Airlines to Vienna. It was the last possibility for them to leave Bulgaria and cross the border. Some days later Austria reacted and closed the last gateway to European Schengen countries. Only hours after that decision, several refugees that bought a ticket and arrived the Airport in Wien/Schwechen were deported back by plane to Sofia. The entry stamps in their passports got crossed by the border police.