Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.



In May 2018, two Roma brothers were attacked by an attacker with a knife, who attacked them and shouted that he had come from "Arabia to set fire to mosques and kill Roma". Mitko Boyanov, 28, died of stab wounds in hospital on May 12.

The victim's brother, 32-year-old Nasko, explained that they were sitting on a bench in the Grivitsa microdistrict and did nothing to provoke the attacker, who demanded that they stop speaking Roma. In the ensuing quarrel, the attacker hit Mitko Boyanov with a large knife, and Nasko hit the killer on the head with a brick in self-defense. The killer immediately hid the knife under the car and fled the scene.

In the days leading up to the attack, the killer repeatedly threatened on social media and in public places to set fire to mosques and remove loudspeakers from minarets. On the Internet, he called himself the "Great Monk" and "Ah Kin" (a reference to the Mayan "People of the Sun"), as well as an "ancient warrior" and called for the purification of holy places and a "return to the old knowledge." In another message a few days before the assassination, he stated that he was looking for a man who allegedly defiled the monastery and stole religious icons, warning if they were not returned by May 23: "May God help him (the alleged thief) and all his people" - an indirect reference to the gypsy community.

The killer was arrested and taken into custody on charges of premeditated murder. His catalog of racist and “patriotic” online posts calling for justice, inciting violence against Roma clearly demonstrates that this murder was a deliberate hate crime. This murder took place in a toxic political context, with the situation of Roma and other minorities in Bulgaria continuing to deteriorate; when public debate has become even more raucous, and politicians often resort to racist hate speech and incitement to violence against Roma, migrants and Muslims.

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