Far-right politician in Bulgaria accused of attacking LGBT+ centre

The legal immunity of a far-right presidential candidate in Bulgaria was lifted after he was suspected of attacking an LGBT + community center in …

The legal immunity of a far-right presidential candidate in Bulgaria was lifted after he was suspected of attacking an LGBT + community center in Sofia.

The Bulgarian Prosecutor General moved to lift Boyan Rasate’s immunity after accusing him of being part of a group that ransacked the LGBT + center.

Rasate is a self-proclaimed National Socialist who has called Hristo Lukov, a pro-Nazi Bulgarian general of World War II, a hero.

The Rainbow Hub, an LGBT + center in Sofia, was ransacked in the attack during a trans-community event and one of its employees was slapped in the face, said the Bilitis Foundation, an LGBT + rights organization based at the hub.

They added on Twitter that the attack came 10 days after a petition with more than 8,000 signatures was filed demanding that anti-LGBTI hate crimes be recognized as such. The Rainbow Hub is a home for several organizations working to protect LGBT + rights.

Eleven embassies, including several European ones, condemned the October 30 attack on the Rainbow Hub and said they had expressed “solidarity with our friends and partners in the face of this senseless attack”.

Bulgaria’s Attorney General said in a statement that B.S. (Rasate’s official initials) was “a perpetrator” who “committed indecent acts, grossly violated public order, and expressed an apparent disrespect for society”.

They said he walked into a foundation office and “yelled, knocked over furniture and sprayed walls.”

The attorney general did not provide the foundation or the candidate’s full name, but said it was on the same street as the foundation that reported the incident. Euronews has reached out to prosecutors but received no response at the time of publication.

The Central Election Commission confirmed to Euronews that it had lifted Rasate’s immunity and prosecuted the far-right presidential candidate ahead of the country’s November 14 elections.

A spokesman said it wasn’t the first time a prosecutor had asked the commission to lift a candidate’s immunity.

Rasate responded in a post on Facebook that “all they had to do was ask and I would have lifted (immunity) myself”.

He is one of several far-right nationalist politicians running in the country’s upcoming elections.

Rasate accused the US Ambassador to Bulgaria, Herro Mustafa, of being behind the prosecutors’ efforts.

Bilitis project coordinator Gloriya Filipova, who says she was slapped in the face during the attack, wrote on social media: “All I’ve ever wanted is to create safer spaces for our community. Yesterday my greatest fear came true: our community center was destroyed and I was slapped in the face. I’m sure we have enough love to heal, but it really hurts. It is time for (Bulgaria’s) institutions to act, “Filipova tweeted.

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