Home News Abdullah, 19-year-old Syrian refugee shot at the Bulgarian border

Abdullah, 19-year-old Syrian refugee shot at the Bulgarian border

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The scene takes place at the beginning of October on the border of Bulgaria and Turkey. In a moment of tension between refugees, who want to seek asylum in Europe, and Bulgarian security forces, a detonation is heard. A few seconds later, a young man collapses on the ground. Abdoullah, a 19-year-old Syrian, has just been injured by a gunshot.

Thanks to the verification work carried out by the collective of journalists Lighthouse Reports and several international media, including “Le Monde”, videos published Monday, December 5 allow for the first time to attest to such an event on the border of Europe.

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As the French daily recounts in detail, the group of exiles seen in the images had managed to enter Bulgarian territory, but had ended up being turned back without the possibility of filing an asylum application, while the law allowed them. After throwing stones in the direction of the police, a live ammunition hit Abdoullah in the arm and chest.

By cross-checking several videos, and based in particular on an audio analysis of the sequence, “Le Monde” was able to demonstrate that the bullet came from an area where Bulgarian forces were located.

Bulgaria denies any responsibility

Ivan Demerdzhiev, Bulgaria’s interior minister, nevertheless denies any involvement of his troops, saying there was ” no cases of violence against migrants », and that there is « no evidence that the shooting was carried out by a Bulgarian policeman “.

This incident occurs in a context of significant tension on the Bulgarian border, marked in particular by the death in November of a police officer, victim of a gunshot whose author has not been identified. The European Commission proposed new measures on Monday (December 5th) to try to limit the flow of refugees along the Balkan route, where some 130,000 unauthorized crossing attempts took place in 2022.

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