Sofia, Bulgaria: two weeks in, the prison strike stays solid

Updates on the Sofia prison strike from the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association:

“Don’t listen to the false news from BTV

The strike in Sofia central prison continues with 30 prisoners refusing to leave their cells to go to work and another 40 on a go slow strike instead of making 440 bags as required by Svilen Tsvetanov they are making 5 or 10 to simulate work as they have been threatened by the Director Peter Krestev that they will be punished if they don’t go to work

BPRA will supply free legal aid to any and all prisoners punished due to strike action”

and:

“Strike continues with even more prisoners refusing work in the paper bag factory

Despite promises from the National prison authority to repeal the order forcing prisoners into slave labour this has not happened yet

No workers have been replace and contrary to the lies of the prison administration they can not be replaced.”

There’s a Bulgarian news article about the situation here – my Bulgarian’s not that hot, but going by a quick machine translation:

“More than 60 people – working prisoners – participated in a strike in Central Sofia Prison. This was reported by OFFNews the secretary of the Bulgarian Prison Society Valentin Ivanov. The prisoners refused to work because of higher norms by an order of the prison director Svilen Tsvetanov.

“What I know is that norms have been lifted to such an extent that they can not be fulfilled.” As you know, the workers struggle for the so-called “cross”, which reduces their verdict, is not the norm, there is no cross, Ivanov explained.

According to the rules, two working days in prison are considered to be three days’ punishment. However, the new rules make it difficult to cover the norm for the production of luxury envelopes for a market that has been over 4 times. So far, prisoners had to produce 100 envelopes a day, now the number is up to 440.

“As a protest against the high norms, they stopped working,” Ivanov explained, adding that there is not enough information on the case, as it is difficult to get access to the prison. There, the chairman of the association Jok Polfreyman , who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the assassination of Andrei Monov, is sentenced there.

“They do not work for money, they work for their freedom, and when they put you in such conditions that no matter how much you work, you still do not get the freedom, what else is left,” Ivanov added.

Sources of OFFNews at the justice ministry have clarified that the case is being checked. At the moment it was clear that out of 70 working 30 people refused to work. The standard check would take nearly a week, and so far the agency does not hire to comment whether it is a strike or there is another reason.”

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About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
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