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08 Sep 08

Bulgaria 'Nazis' Charged with 'Hooliganism'

Sofia _ Police in Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv have released four activists of the far-right Ataka party after charging them with hooliganism.
Five activists were originally arrested in Plovdiv on Saturday night during the official celebration of Bulgaria's National Unification Day for improper behavior and for carrying banners with swastikas.

One of the detainees was a 15-year-old who was released shortly after arrest because of his age.

Before the other four activists, including a 62-year-old woman, were released, the Second Police Department in Plovdiv was besieged by an angry crowd of around 100 Ataka supporters led by the party leader, Volen Siderov.

The lawyer for the four detainees Elena Sirakova stated that the hooliganism charges could not be sustained in the courtroom because the swastikas on the banners were accompanied by text explaining their meaning just like in any regular textbook sold in every bookstore.

Siderov himself said the party was going to file suits because the police acted unfairly and were being used to advance political goals.

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