After 4 years of repression, institutional arbitrariness and torture, Nikolai Yovev, Vasil Georgiev, Alexander Angov and Stoyan Stavrev finally received a fair verdict at first instance. We remind you that the four young people fell victim to a fabricated trial after a bomb exploded in front of Euroroma’s headquarters in Sandanski in 2012. As a result of the explosion, the criminally exposed 59-year-old Malin Iliev, of gypsy origin, died and later died. Looking for convenient scapegoats, local police arrested the four young men, whose only fault was that they were prominent nationalists in the region who systematically criticized the atrocities of local authorities. The boys were thrown into pre-trial detention, held in miserable conditions, in an attempt to break them. Nikolay Yovev spent the longest time there – a year and a half.
The circumstances of the arrest are extremely suspicious – the young people were arrested almost an hour before the inspection of the crime scene began. Repressive actions of the police followed, accompanied by a bunch of violations. Later, a number of other violations were found, not only in the investigation, but also in the trial against the young people. The first detailed journalistic investigation into this farce was the work of SKAT TV journalist Teodora Salagyorova. Subsequently, other media made the case public.
The struggle for justice also unites nationalists across the country, with a number of campaigns in support of the boys being carried out by various organizations and groups. They are also regularly supported by large groups of like-minded people during court hearings. Eventually, after a long struggle, the judiciary was replaced by an independent one, and the end result was an acquittal at first instance handed down on 12 December.