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Bulgaria Refuse Jock Palfreeman's Transfer To Australia
On the 09/07/2013 the Head Prosecutor of Bulgaria rejected Australia’s request to transfer me to serve my sentence in Australia. His excuses can be summarised into 3 major points, 1. Bad prison conduct 2. Not served enough time of the full sentence and 3. Until now the goals of the sentence have not been fulfilled.
In reply I say:
I have had only 1 disciplinary punishment in the last 3 years and it’ll be difficult to find a prisoner with less then that amount of disciplinary punishments in a Bulgarian prison, furthermore the single disciplinary punishment I have over the last 3 years is for refusing to speak to the Director of the Sofia Prison. Yes….. I was punished by having my food reduced for 3 months, for refusing to speak to the Director.
What does it matter how much of my sentence I have served, the request from Australia was to be transferred to finish my sentence in Australian prison. This second point of the Head Prosecutor is reflective of their belief that in Australia I will be released as so many wrongly convicted in corrupt countries are when they are returned to their home countries. Australia has explicitly said they will not release me if transferred to Australia; however it is in the mind of the Head Prosecutor, that my case has become the shame of the Bulgarian state. Only in his world I am still guilty, but in no one else’s.
What are these goals that the Head Prosecutor speaks of? I have not been informed of any such goals, I was told and am told almost daily by Sofia Prison staff that I am simply to sit on my bed and finish my sentence in prison. Are these the goals that have not been achieved? If he could, as publicly as he rejected transfer, to publicly explain to everyone what these goals are and how they have not been accomplished? And how he expects them to be accomplished if no one knows what they are?
The Head Prosecutor of Bulgaria has exited the world of law and entered the world of metaphysics. Nothing the Head Prosecutor said was based on law other then his right to deny transfer. The reasons for such a denial have no connection with law or reality and almost everyone who has read the prosecutor’s decision burst out laughing at the audacity of such bold lies.
As so much of Bulgarian society are entering the streets to vent their frustration with such an inherently corrupt state, I remind the Bulgarian people and others, that I too am a victim of this disgustingly corrupt state. I was convicted to 20 years due to corruption, discriminated and persecuted in prison due to corruption and now the transfer denied due to corruption. The Prosecutors office attempts to be on the side of the Bulgarian people, making such a popularist decision. However they have shown themselves to be of the same arrogant yoke as their political friends in parliament. They are the untouchables, unanswerable to anyone other themselves and this is where corruption and maladministration fester like gangrene to spread throughout society to destroy all around it.
Australians, in this election year, I ask all my friends and family to ask Labor and Liberal “what will they do for Jock?” Julia Gillard refused to help, so now it is time to ask Kevin Rudd “why have you been so quiet over the injustices committed against Jock?” and alternatively ask the opposition Tony Abbott “Why have you not challenged such inertia and silence of the government?”. Tony Abbott who claims to be motivated by Catholic values, the same values that motivated me to defend a man being attacked by 15, has offered nothing to help my family over the last 5 years despite me and many of my family living in his electorate. I have been forsaken by both political parties.
The state will inevitably keep me in prison to the minute of my 20 year sentence; this at least is the goal of Bulgarian Socialist Party Deputy Monov and his cronies in the party. And most likely they will succeed as there is no political will to help me from either of the major Australian parties. However I will be for every minute the international symbol of the Bulgarian states shame, the anti racist jailed for saving a persecuted mans life against 15 bloodthirsty neo fascists connected with National Resistance fascist organisation.
Please send your letters of outrage to the prosecutors office at:
Head Prosecutor of Bulgaria
No 2 vitosha bul
International Week Of Solidarity With Jock Palfreeman 22nd-28th April
Jock Palfreeman is an Australian who, on the 27th December 2007, on a night out in Sofia, Bulgaria; had the courage to stand up against a group of fascist hooligans. Witnessing the fascists chasing and attacking two young Roma boys, Jock ran to the boys' aid. He did his best to keep the fascists at bay but they ended up turning on and attacking him. Left with nowhere to run, Jock had no choice but to defend himself. Andrey Monov, one of the racist gang, was stabbed and later died. Another, Anton Zahariev was injured. The Roma boys ran away. Jock has since been tried and sentenced for murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and has been given a fine running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Andrey Monov's father is well known in Bulgaria and at his funeral there were a mixture of judges, police and politicians. Jock's trial was (not surprisingly) a complete sham – yet another example of corruption, secret handshakes in the judicial system and media bias. The prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the other racists that were part of the attacking group, all claiming that Jock randomly attacked and chased them, with the intent of killing somebody. Key people and possible witnesses for Jock's defence were never interviewed by police and CCTV footage from the scene miraculously went missing. Many of the statements made at the time were different to the statements submitted to the court by the prosecution., while Jock's statement has remained consistent from the night in question.
You can read Jock's official statement at www.freejock.com You can also watch a documentary about his case that contains interviews with Jock at the following links:
Jock appealed against his sentence and court hearings took place between October 2010 and January 2011. Despite some police officers confirming his version of events, despite one of the fascists making totally incoherent statements in court trying to explain why he changed his original testimony, despite mounting evidence of judicial errors during the initial trial and despite all other factors pointing to his innocence; his sentence of 20 years was upheld.
(For Jocks statement about this please go to: http://anarchistsolidarity.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/ jocks-sentence-upheld-after-an-appeal)
Jock has now lost all his appeals and the only way left for him, is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. He is also trying to secure his transfer to Australia to serve his sentence, which is proving difficult as the Bulgarian prosecution service is determined to keep him imprisoned in Bulgaria. Authorities refuse to even discuss his possible transfer until his fine is paid, effectively holding Jock to ransom. Jock's family is currently collecting necessary funds and you can donate by visiting www.freejock.com.
It is now more important than ever, that we collectively put as much pressure on the Bulgarian authorities as possible, to accept Jock's transfer to Australia. Between the 22nd and 28th of April 2013 there will be an, International Week of Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman. We need to let Jock know that he is not alone in his struggle and that we are in it for the long run. Any solidarity actions can go a long way to assure that. He recently helped create the Bulgarian Association of Prisoners (www.bulgarianprisonersassociation.wordpress.com) and because he is its Chairman, he suffers repression from the prison's administration, such as a recent refusal of computer access to continue his university education, which pushed Jock into a 30-day hunger-strike. Jock needs us to act and he needs our solidarity. The more creative the actions the better. Don't let the Bulgarian state bury this courageous man alive in prison! Don't let them think that they can get away with it!
Another important aspect is, especially for people in Australia , to keep the pressure on their government to do something for Jock's case. His case has been too quiet in his home country for far too long. It is time to change that!
If you are short of ideas why not try one of the following:
Organise solidarity actions outside Bulgarian Embassies, Consulates, etc. (for a list of the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates please see: http://www.buldir.com/ bulgarian_embassies_abroad.html). Phone/write the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates with your protests.
Help us to swamp the Bulgarian Authorities with letters of protest, condemnation and requests for Jock's appeal to be accepted. It is also vital that we send protest messages to the prosecutors directly responsible for blocking his transfer to Australia. (Please see below for a list of addresses).
Ideally protest letters are best written in your own words..... BUT, we have provided a sample letter (attached) that can be sent if you do not want to write your own. Just print it, sign it and post it, simple as that. Please feel free to reprint it and distribute it to anyone you think may send a copy. We need to get the pressure up, and keep it up!
Addresses to post, fax and email your letters of protest to:
No.2 Vitosha blvd
Tel: +359 28051500
Email via: http://prb.bg/main/bg/pages/infcenter
[NB: the fields on the form translate as:
Name & Surname:
Complaint or question (10000 characters):
No.2 Vitosha blvd
Tel: +359 28051500
Email via: http://prb.bg/main/bg/pages/infcenter
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: 2 Aleksander Zhendov Str
Tel: +359 2 948 2999
http://www.mfa.bg/en/contact/ (ready form for sending messages from their website, very helpful)
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria LONDON
186-188 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5HL
Tel.: (0044) (0) 207 584 9400, (0) 207 584 9433
Fax: (0044) (0) 207 584 4948
Information, Public Relations and European Communication Directorate
Director: Sofia Vladimirova
Tel: +359 2 971 1408. OR +359 2 971 3778. OR +359 2 948 2218.
Fax: +359 2 870 3041
Ministry’s Reception Desk
Tel: +359 2 948 2018 or +359 2 971 1054
(opening hrs 09.30 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.00)
Ministry of Justice
No 1 Slavanska st
Finally, please write to Jock, even if it’s only a ‘good luck’ postcard. Any letters and postcards will help to keep Jock's spirit up and feeling positive. All will be gratefully received. You can write to Jock at the following address:
Sofia Central Prison,
21 General Stoletov Boulevard,
To Whom it may concern,
I am writing to you regarding the Australian national Jock Palfreeman.
Mr. Palfreeman is currently imprisoned in Sofia Central Prison in Bulgaria. After defending two young innocent boys from a viscous attack by a group of drunken football hooligans; and later being forced to defend himself against the same assailants, he was sentenced to twenty years incarceration under charges of murder and attempted murder.
He is clearly only guilty of accidental homicide in self-defence.
Mr. Palfreeman witnessed a gang of around 16 men, attacking the two boys and ran to their aid. While trying to keep the gang at bay he suffered a viscous attack and was left with no choice but to defend himself. His version of events has remained consistent since the night in question and is supported by numerous witnesses. All of whom are prepared to testify in his defence.
It has since transpired at his trial, to my astonishment, that key people and possible witnesses were never interviewed by police, that the CCTV footage from the scene went missing and that many of the peoples statements submitted to the court by the prosecution were not the same as the statements made on the night in question. Anything favourable of Mr. Palfreeman's defence was completely disregarded by the judge whilst the prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the football hooligans that initially attacked the two boys. All claiming that Mr. Palfreeman randomly attacked them and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. The trial was a farce, as so were all appeals.
I ask that the Bulgarian Authorities stop their attempts to keep him imprisoned in Bulgaria, and allow him to be transferred to an Australian prison where he can be closer to his family.
We will continue highlighting Mr. Palfreeman's case and showing our solidarity with him, until our requests have been satisfied.
Mr. Palfreeman selflessly saved the lives of two young boys, risking his own safety, at the cost of his own freedom. He should be deemed a hero, not deemed a cold blooded killer!
Anti-fascist Prisoner Jock Palfreeman Ends His Hunger Strike – But Still Needs Your Support
Australian Anti-fascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman, serving 20 years in Sofia/Bulgaria for defending two Roma boys from a racist mob, was on hunger strike from the 13th January 2013. The Director of the Central Sofia Prison had ordered another punishment measure because of Jock's activist work as chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoner's Association. Due to this punishment Jock is now not allowed to finish his studies which is very important to him.
After 30 days Jock ended his hunger strike because he got an answer from the Bulgarian authorities. The prison administration responsible for his case answered that he can only study in a Bulgarian University, and not in a foreign one. But, if he wants to study in a Bulgarian University he cannot do this from prison, so he is not permitted to continue his studies. This 'official' answer means that he can now apply in the courts against the decision. After losing 20 kilos in weight he ended his hunger strike and will continue his protest by legal ways.
Jock is very thankful for the support he received. But the issue of being able to continue his studies is not resolved, so it is still useful for friends and supporters to write letters to the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria.
The fight continues! Please keep writing letters of complaint to:
Ministry of Justice
No. 1, Slavanska Street
A week of solidarity action for Jock is being planned for April, more information will be available soon...
For other ways to support Jock:
Write letters of support to:
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
Check out these websites for more information about his case:
Join the 'Freedom For Jock Palfreeman' page on Facebook for regular news and updates:
Sign this petition to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice: To Approve Jock Palfreeman's Prison Transfer to Australia
Website of Bulgarian Prisoners Association:
Support Jock Palfreeman
Anti-fascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman has been on hungerstrike since 13th January 2013 because the Director of the Central Sofia Prison has ordered another punishment measure against him, most probably because of Jock's activist work as chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoner's Association
Due to this punishment Jock is now not allowed to finish his studies which are very important for him.
He asks for solidarity from all of you by petitioning the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice :
Ministry of Justice
1 Slavanska Street
Tel: 00 359 92 37 555
Fax: 00 359 981 91 57
Please send this information to other people who might support him, also relevant groups and websites.