ESU supports the rights of Bulgarian students to express themselves

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Bulgarian protests Students are a force for change in the demonstration. Photo: Antigovernment Press Centre

SOFIA - Bulgarian students joined a massive civil demonstration on 23 October and are now the main voice and actors fighting against corruption in the country. The protests originated in mid-June after Oresharski’s government controversially appointed Delyan Peevski as head of the State Agency for National Security. Since then, the protests have only magnified and spread all across the country.

A survey shows that Bulgarian students are supported by more than sixty per cent of the society and hundreds of professors have also signed a petition to support them. They voice the demand of the whole society for a government clean of any kind of corruption as well as a government capable of listening to its citizens and respond to their demands.

A corrupt government affects all members of society, including students. Getting rid of corruption is the way to prosperous economy and a healthy democracy. Students and young graduates are most affected by brain-drain as the corruption doesn’t allow them to benefit from a stable economy nor a stable government that will give them satisfactory employment opportunities as well as opportunities to influence decisions as active citizens. We support fully the cause of Bulgarian students to fight against corruption within Bulgaria’s administration,” says Gabriela Bergan, Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator of the European Students’ Union.

Students have proven to be in the past a driving force for change and this is exactly the role that Bulgarian students are embracing now. Students are key actors in a civil society and as such have the right to express themselves freely on all subjects. They do not represent solely students’ interests and are not limited to express themselves on academic issues,” Bergan continues.

Protected by the Students' Rights Charter

This essential student right seems to have been undermined as the Prime Minister of Bulgaria explained that he “expected a different kind of protest demands from the students – a professional one, about education, because education is not in an excellent shape, while their demands are typical political ones” . In fact, this statement does not regard students as full citizens who can have an opinion on everything that will affect them within their university or outside their university as citizens. Therefore, ESU would like to remind the Bulgarian government that it firmly stands for “the right of all students to freely express themselves and this should not be limited to academic matters” (As protected by Article 14 of the Students’ Rights Charter) .

ESU also deplores the fact that protesters have been the targets of police forces who threw stones at them. ESU believes that students and all citizens have the fundamental right to protest and that they should not fear for their security because of this act.

ESU hereby supports Bulgarian students and its member union, the National Assembly of Students’ Council (NASC), in their protest against corruption and in the civic role they are carrying in these protests. ESU calls on the Bulgarian government to ensure a non-violent space for citizens to protests. In addition, ESU calls on all parties to come together and discuss a possible resolution of the conflict.

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For more information, please contact:

Rok Primozic, ESU's Chairperson: +32/479.126.390 // rok@esu-online.org or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 // robert@esu-online.org

The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.

 

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Marian Nedelchev
21:37 on 17 Nov 13 Unfortunately the whole protest is a huge manipulation with the active help of the electronic media and non-government organisations financed from abroad. The whole "occupation movement" is with the participation of several hundred students. Their leaders have onle paricular purpose - to bring back the mafia rule of the previos prime minister and his servants. A couple of years ago the same prime-minister stated the students should breed sheep. No reaction at all. The protesters claim for democracy, but use the most undemocratic principle - "Those who are not supporting us are against us". They don't propose any alternative.
Stanislava Krusteva
09:43 on 17 Nov 13 Dear Mrs Delcheva, are you aware of Bulgarian student`s future? And the nation as a whole? Because your words show the opposite. Repeating the year is much better than graduating and having no opportunity after that. And being a slave of mafia, corruption and repressions! If you are so willing to live in a communist country or under slavery, go live somewhere else because we won`t let this happen in Bulgaria again. Also do you mean the protest supporting the government saying 1.000 people? The people brought from the whole country with buses? And being paid to support of the government? If not, you are the one that should re-check the facts. To ESU - we truly appreciate your support! Resignition of Bulgarian`s government and a new Constitution!!!
Ilda Delcheva
18:31 on 13 Nov 13 You are fully aware that the other students do not have any lectures due to this act and are about to be forced to repeat the whole academic year. Please re-check your facts before publishing such statements. They on the verge of being harmful and offending. In addition "massive civil demonstration" is not the right term for the protest of 1.000 people in a capital that consist from 2 Millions
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