Bulgaria to ‘isolate’ migrants from camp after riots
SOFIA - Agence France-PresseAll necessary preparations will be made over the next week “so that we can isolate those who do not want to obey the rules,” Borisov said Nov. 25, while visiting the former army barracks facility near the Turkish border that now hosts just over 3,000 migrants - mainly from Afghanistan but also Syria.
The offenders - young Afghan men who lit fires and hurled stones at police on Nov. 24 - will be moved to closed facilities, that are now being set up in the empty barracks near the Turkish border, prior to being sent home.
“They will be then expelled from Bulgaria as soon as possible,” Borisov said, adding that the first plane taking Afghan migrants out of the country is expected to leave in December.
Only Syrian families will remain in Harmanli from next year, Borisov added during a meeting with local residents who have long demanded the closure of the camp.
Several hundred police officers and water cannons were deployed Nov. 24 to quash a riot by some 1,500 stone-hurling migrants, protesting against being kept shut inside the camp pending medical checks.
Twenty-nine police and 20 migrants were injured in the late night clashes as police pushed the migrants back into the buildings. Four hundred migrants were detained.
Borisov said that the organizer of the riot was identified as an Afghan who was imprisoned in Germany for drug dealing before being expelled. The man, who arrived in Bulgaria four months ago, has been detained and will be immediately expelled.
Another 18 migrants were charged on Nov. 24 with hooliganism after smashing windows and ruining furniture in the camp’s brand new canteen, local prosecutors announced.