A crowd-funding campaign has been launched for Australian Jock Palfreeman, who is fighting Bulgaria’s effort to expel him from the country and the European Union, writes Kerry Smith.
On October 7, three Bulgarian judges from the Supreme Court of Cassation decided they would need up to two months to review the Sofia Court of Appeal’s decision to grant Australian citizen Jock Palfreeman parole on September 19.
Australian anti-fascist campaigner Jock Palfreeman’s parole is being challenged by Bulgarian authorities and his lawyer has said he urgently needs to leave the country.
Anti-fascist activist Jock Palfreeman was denied parole on July 17 on his 20-year prison sentence for murder in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jock Palfreeman, a prisoner rights activist in Bulgaria, has launched an international appeal for the prisoner support group he helped establish from inside Sofia Prison.
Palfreeman has been a prisoner for more than 10 years on trumped-up murder charges. He was instrumental in setting up the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association (BPRA), which has successfully changed the law.
Jock Palfreeman is a 30-year-old Australian man wrongly jailed for the murder of a neo-Nazi in Bulgaria in 2007. Palfreeman came to the assistance of a Roma man being assaulted by a gang of fascist football hooligans. During the ensuing fight, one of the attackers was fatally stabbed.
The dead youth came from a family with powerful political connections. Despite serious weaknesses in the case against him, Palfreeman was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
There has been a huge rise in asylum seekers in Bulgaria as a direct result of instability in North Africa and the Middle East. They use Bulgaria as a land entry into the European Union. The Bulgarian tabloid press has coined the phrase “wave”, which has now entered political and popular language. In 2009, the newly-elected government greatly changed the way the law was interpreted and enforced. Before 2010, there was not a single “illegal immigrant” convicted and jailed in the criminal prisons.