Appendix 4.2 Constitution of Bulgaria (Extracts)

The present constitution, adopted in 1971, established the Council of State as the supreme body of the National Assembly, with both legislative and executive functions.10 The legal framework for the prevention and elimination of racial discrimination does exist in the Bulgarian constitution. Articles 35, 45, 48 and 52-54 of the constitution are the portions relevant to minority groups.

Article 35

  1. All citizens of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria are equal before the law.
  2. No privileges or restriction of rights based on nationality, origin, creed, sex, race, education, social and material status are allowed.
  3. The state secures the equality of the citizens by creating conditions and opportunities for the exercise of their rights and the fulfilment of their obligations.
  4. The propagation of hate or humiliation of man because of race, national or religious affiliation is forbidden and shall be punished.

Article 45 (paragraphs 1 and 7)

  1. Citizens are entitled to free education in all types and grades of educational establishments under conditions determined by law.
  2. Citizens of non-Bulgarian extraction, in addition to the compulsory study of the Bulgarian language, are entitled to study also their own language.

Article 48

  1. The freedom and inviolability of the person is guaranteed.

Article 52, paragraph 1

  1. Citizens may form organizations for political, professional, cultural, artistic, scientific, religious, sports and other non-economic purposes.

Article 53

  1. The citizens are guaranteed freedom of conscience and creed. They may perform religious rites and conduct anti-religious propaganda.

Article 54

  1. Citizens enjoy freedom of speech, press, meetings, associations and demonstrations.
  2. These freedoms are guaranteed by placing the necessary material conditions for the purpose at the disposal of the citizens.

Bulgarian legislation provides for equal rights of all citizens in the constitution (articles 35, etc.), and also prescribes penalties for crimes against racial and national equality.11 Section I of the Criminal Code “Crimes against national and racial equality” and section III “Extermination of population groups (genocide and apartheid)” are the appropriate sections that prescribe these penalties.