An Official Statement of Prof. Krastyo Petkov
Chairman of the Political Party
“United Block of Labor – Bulgarian Labor Party Members”
Note: This version of the statement is enriched with the Section “Maps” and Section “Chronicle”, as it is addressed to Non-Bulgarians.
Map of the location of the Village of Katunitsa – South-East of the City of Plovdiv
(7 km distance)
Map of the Cities, where greater riots occurred in the last few days: Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, Varna, Shoumen, Dobritch, Rousse, Pleven
Chronicle (based on “Trud” Daily Newspaper publication, as of 26 Sept. 2011)
Friday /23 Sept. 2011/ (Day 1) - This is the day, at which the official political campaign for both local and presidential elections is announced open. Elections will be held on 23 Sept. 2011.
• 19:00 – about 10 cars and 2 buses, where 4-5 Romas in each vehicle from the “Stolipinevo” neighborhood of the City of Plovdiv – the biggest Roma ghetto on the Balkan peninsular (about 50,000 Romas), enter the Village of Katunitsa. They drive around the streets of the village few times and aggressively demonstrate they superiority, being armed with knives, and other weapons, according to eyewitnesses. They were supposed to arrive at Tsar Kiro’s house (the Roma King - Kiril Rashkov) for reasons, which the Investigation Services still do not announce.
• 19:45 – one of the Buses – “Ford Transit” gets on a single “Seek-and-Destroy” ride with 6 Romas to find the house of a Bulgarian citizens, who have been threatened for killing by the Romas, and have submitted official claim in the Court of Assenovgrad in Thursday. The Romas inside the bus shout to citizens of Katunitsa “We will kill you all!” and show their knives and weapons.
• 19:55 – accidently a young man – Mr. Angel Petrov, 19 years of age walks by with his dog, and becomes a target of the Ford Transit, which speeds up, hits him, and goes over him. At the same time, the father of Angel Petrov – Mr. Nasko Petrov, gets on the door of the driver of the bus, unable to open the door, and shouts at the driver: “Please, stop! You are killing my son! Please, stop! You are going through him! My son is dying!”. The Roma driver pretends of not hearing and drives 15 meters intentionally with low speed. Thus, the boy is killed (which the mainstream media describe as a traffic-accident in the early media coverage, which outrages many people later on). The bus leaves the village.
• 20:30 – as the rumor of the killing is spread quickly through the village, more than 300 people are get together in less than 30 minutes in front of the house of Mr. Kiril Rashkov, known as the Roma King. The crowd is shouting: “We want justice!”, “All the killers in prison!” and others.
• 20:30 – 23:00 – The situation gets more serious, and the crowd is outraged. Police troops and special task forces are deployed around the house of Kiril Rashkov, the village is blocked by special forces.
• 23:00 – Between 50 and 100 men from the crowd attack the house, and try to get face-in-face with the Romas inside the house. There is a Mercedes, with an English plate with 4 Romas inside, which starts the engine and hits the road to escape. The second bus also starts the engine and maneuvers to escape. However, 3 policemen are driven over – two of them have broken hands, and one serious injuries. Another two young lads – Mr. Atanas Vasev, 24, and Mr. Petar Petrov, 18, get also hit. The first has serious trauma on the head and numerous injuries on the body; the second has broken bones and injuries.
• 23:30 – Police start to apply force, and numerous people are arrested on the crime-scene, and 13 people have been escorted to Plovdiv Police Stations.
Saturday /24 Sept. 2011/ (Day-2)
• 11:00 – About 500 people get in the center of Katunitsa to speak with the Chief of Regional Police – Mr. Todor Chonov. An initiative committee makes a statement that Mr. Kiril Rashkov and his family must be moved out from Katunitsa and re-settled.
• 12:00 – Protesters decide to arrange demonstration in front of the house of Kiril Rashkov and start heading towards the house. However, anger is coming back and few cars of the Kiril Rashkov are turned over and destroyed (two jeeps and one Mercedes).
• 12:20 – When the crowds marches on the street, and reaches the place where the young boy was killed – his friend Mr. Pavel Tolev, 17, faints down, out of a sudden. He happens to have serious heart problems, and had been operated numerous times to get proper cardiac by-pass. His heart is too weak to stand the scene of killing, and the boy dies in the Ambulance Car on the way to the hospital.
• 13:00 – As more people are unaware of the second death, their anger gets greater, and riots are under way.
• 14:00-16:00 – More police forces are sent from the cities of Smolyan, Pazardzhik, and Stara Zagora, as more and more people are coming to Katunitsa to protest.
• 19:00 – Secretary-General of the Ministry of Interior – Mr. Kalin Georgiev comes on the scene. At the same time there are soccer games in the city of Plovdiv, and soccer fans are preparing their coming to Katunitsa.
• 19:45 – Soccer fans from different soccer clubs manage to enter Katunitsa using by-roads and the rail-way station, as the police is blocked all main roads, but did not block the traffic of trains, and the traffic on the secondary roads.
• 20:30 – The house of Kiril Rashkov is set on fire! There are more than 2,000 protesters, who set on fire another villa of the Roma King
• 21:00 – the Regional Prosecutor-General of Plovdiv comes on the scene – Mr. Ivan Daskalov.
• 21:30 – Protesters manage to crack down the police blockade and burn down another 2 houses of the Rashkov’s family.
• 21:30 – 13:00 – Police starts fighting back and numerous arrests occurred – there 127 arrested individuals.
Sunday /25 Sept. 2011/ (Day-3)
• 11:00 – Peaceful protest is arranged in Katunitsa, but over 300 motor-bikers come to the village.
• 14:30 – Motor-bikers get together in the City of Plovdiv to protest, as well.
• 15:00 – The Mourning Service of Mr. Angel Petrov starts.
• 20:00 – Again, protesters, set on fire the already burned properties of Kiril Rashkov.
In Saturday and Sunday the mainstream media do not manage to realize that a very serious problem is rising, and there are only few limited news reports. Internet and social networks turn into main source of information for all who want to protest.
In the next days – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – numerous people start to protest virtually in all big cities of the country, including Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Russe, Shoumen, Dobritch, Blagoevgrad, Pleven, and others.
The Prime-Minister announced that Police Forces did not manage to do their best in the police actions.
The President of Bulgaria set a date – Saturday /01 Oct. 2011/, to summon the National Security Council to discuss this issue.
Numerous political attacks have been started between the pro-left and pro-right parties, as the Minister of Interior has been on official leave from duties, because he is chief of staff of the ruling party to prepare for political campaign.