CCPR/C/130/D/2820/2016

Facts as submitted by the author
2.1
On 15 September 2005, the author, a second-year student at the Technical University
of Sofia, took a bus from Sofia to Kardzhali. The bus arrived at its destination at around 7.45
p.m. While walking through the streets of Kardzhali, he heard footsteps behind him and, a
moment later, a large man suddenly attacked him. Thinking that it was a robbery, the author
punched the attacker in the face in self-defence. Subsequently, a second man arrived on the
scene and also attacked him and punched him. The author was hit on the head with a hard
object and fell into the street.1 The two men continued hitting and kicking him while he was
on the ground. He unsuccessfully tried to defend himself, still thinking that he was being
robbed. One of the two assailants said: “Where is the weed? Give me the weed!” At that
moment, the author thought that he was being assaulted by drug dealers who had mistaken
him for another dealer. He replied that he did not have any weed and that he was not involved
in that kind of business.
2.2
The author was handcuffed and put into a car. According to the author, it was only at
that moment that the men identified themselves as police officers. Upon arrival at the police
station, they discovered that there had been an error and that the author was not the person
whom they were seeking. The author was taken to hospital, where he spent four days for the
treatment of the injuries sustained as a result of the beating. A judicial medical certificate
was issued to the author indicating that he had two lacerated contusions to his head and visible
bruising owing to contusions to the skin on the right side of his abdomen.2
2.3
On 26 September 2005, the author submitted a complaint to the Director of the
Kardzhali District Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior against the two police officers
for the violence that he had suffered. On 13 October 2005, the Director acknowledged that
the use of force by the police officers had been disproportionate, that the police officers had
acted with negligence by not informing the author that they were police officers and that they
had therefore been subjected to disciplinary sanctions.3
2.4
On an undetermined date, the author submitted the same complaint to the Plovdiv
District Military Prosecutor’s Office. On 17 October 2005, the Office rejected the request to
initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers in question. On 9 February 2006, the
Appellate Military Prosecutor’s Office reversed the decision of the Plovdiv District Military
Prosecutor’s Office and ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings against the two police
officers.
2.5
On 28 July 2006, the Plovdiv District Military Prosecutor’s Office charged the two
police officers with causing minor bodily harm to the author, under article 131 (1), read in
conjunction with article 130 (1), and article 20 (3) of the Criminal Code. 4 The Plovdiv
Military Court of First Instance opened a criminal case (No. 160/2006). The author filed a
civil claim against the defendants for moral damages suffered in the amount of 8,000 leva
(approximately $4,800).
2.6
On 16 September 2006, the Plovdiv Military Court acquitted the accused.5 The Court
found that the police officers had identified themselves when they had alerted the author by
saying “Don’t move, police”, and that the officers had attacked the author because he offered
resistance and attacked them. The Court deemed the force used by the police officers as being
within the framework of the law and not exceeding in its intensity what was necessary to

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During the court proceedings, it was established that the author had been hit with the police officers’
handcuffs.
The author submitted pictures of his wounds with his complaint as, well as a summary in French of a
forensic medical certificate (No. 264/05) dated 17 September 2005.
See paragraph 4.2, in which the State party provides further information. The author submitted with
his complaint a summary in French of the letter dated 13 October 2005 from the Director of the
Kardzhali District Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior.
According to the State party, the pretrial proceedings were initiated on 16 February 2006. The author
provides a translation in French of the indictment, which does not include a date.
The author submitted with his complaint a summary in French of the Plovdiv Military Court decision
dated 16 September 2006.

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