Sofia, Bulgaria: The United States Department of State, in a report, stated that Bulgaria is facing “significant human rights” issues and numerous other intense matters of concern with its judicial independence.
Corruption, restrictions on free expression and corporate and political pressure on media are some of the significant issues highlighted by the US department in its report.
Published earlier this week, the 2021 Human Rights Practices report of the US department states, “While the law provides – criminal penalties for corruption by the authorities, the government did not enforce the law effectively, and officials in all branches of the government reportedly engaged in corrupt practices with indemnity.” As per the report, the court practices includes taking bribe and trading in influence.
Following the above statement, the US department further cites in the report, “Domestic & the international organisations criticised both the print as well as electronic media for editorial bias, lack of transparency in their financing & ownership, and susceptibility to political influence & economic incentives. Despite the legal requirement for media ownership disclosure, many outlets did not relent, & media ownership information was not entirely publicly available.”
While speaking on the corruption in the Balkan state, a Member of the European Parliament – Tomáš Zdechovský, on Wednesday stated that either Bulgaria could choose the path of corruption or of becoming a developed state, adding that the country is at a “crossroads.”
The European seeks the assistance of the European Union to battle the corruption, following which a record regarding the potential criminal activity.
The statement of the EU chief prosecutor Laura Kövesi on the matter asserts, “Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov seeks the aid of EU in battling corruption. The country sent us a record number of reports about potential criminal activity. Now is the time for the appropriate Bulgarian national authorities to team up with us.”