CAT/C/BGR/CO/6

5.
The Committee also welcomes the initiatives of the State party to amend its policies,
programmes and administrative measures to give effect to the Convention, including:
(a)
The issuance of Decree No. 152 by the Council of Ministers providing for
three additional posts in the national legal aid bureau, on 17 July 2012, and the updating of
the mechanism for the provision of legal aid by lawyers on duty and the increase in the
budget of the national legal aid bureau by some 2 million euros, since 2013;
(b)
The approval by the Minister of Justice of the strategy for preventing and
countering corruption in the Chief Directorate for the Execution of Sentences, in 2012;
(c)
The adoption of the National Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Roma
Integration (2012–2020), which includes reference to, inter alia, counteracting hate speech
in print and electronic media;
(d)
The adoption by the Ministry of the Interior of the Ordinance on the use of
force and special means, in 2015;
(e)
The adoption of the national strategy for preventing and countering
corruption for the period 2015–2020, in April 2015, and the establishment of a national
council on anti-corruption policies, in May 2015;
(f)
The adoption by the Council of Ministers of the national programme for
preventing and protecting victims of domestic violence, as submitted by the Ministry of the
Interior, on 29 April 2015;
(g)
The adoption of the national strategy on migration, asylum and integration
for the period 2015–2020, on 10 June 2015;
(h)

C.

The adoption of a national anti-trafficking strategy for the period 2017–2021.

Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up questions from the previous reporting cycle
6.
In paragraph 35 of its previous concluding observations (CAT/C/BGR/CO/4-5), the
Committee requested Bulgaria to provide further information regarding areas of particular
concern identified by the Committee in paragraph 9, on the enjoyment of fundamental legal
safeguards by persons deprived of their liberty, paragraph 10, on the excessive use of force
and firearms by law enforcement officers, and paragraph 28, regarding manifestations of
discrimination and intolerance, including hate speech and acts of violence, against certain
national, religious and sexual minorities. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the
State party’s follow-up response on those matters and the substantive information provided
on 21 December 2012 (CAT/C/BGR/CO/4-5/Add.1). In view of that information, the
Committee considers that the recommendations included in paragraphs 9, 10 and 28
mentioned above have been partially implemented (see paras. 9–12, 29 and 30 of the
present document).
Definition of torture and torture as a separate crime in the Criminal Code
7.
While noting that, during the universal periodic review in May 2015, the State party
accepted the recommendation to adopt a definition of torture that includes all elements
present in the Convention, it remains concerned that, to date, a comprehensive definition of
torture incorporating all the elements contained in article 1 of the Convention has not been
incorporated into the Criminal Code. It is also concerned that torture is not criminalized as
a separate offence in law and that acts amounting to torture continue to be prosecuted under
different articles of the Criminal Code. The Committee is further concerned that only war
crimes and crimes against humanity continue to not be subjected to a statute of limitations
(arts. 1 and 4).
8.
The Committee reiterates its recommendation (see CAT/C/BGR/CO/4-5, para.
8) that the State party should adopt a definition of torture that covers all the elements
contained in article 1 of the Convention. It should also take effective measures to
include torture as a separate and specific crime in its legislation and ensure that

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