MINELRES: UNITED: Call for Justice: Press release by participants of the UNITED conference 'Europe All Inclusive? Minorities at the Edge of Society'
Sun May 30 08:45:42 2010
Original sender: UNITED <firstname.lastname@example.org>
please find below a press release by participants of the UNITED
conference 'Europe All Inclusive? Minorities at the Edge of Society'
hold between 11-16 May 2010 in Budapest Hungary where organisations from
33 European countries were represented.
UNITED PRESS RELEASE 28/05/2010: Call for Justice
Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian citizen who, before his
arrest in Bulgaria, was a trainee soldier in the British Army.
Jock was arrested following an incident in which he had attempted to
defend two Roma people who were being attacked by a group of men in an
alleged racist attack, late at night near a metro station in the
Bulgarian capital, Sofia, shortly before Christmas 2007.
As a result of the incident in which one of the attackers was stabbed to
death, Jock has been tried and convicted for murder. For this, he has
been given a twenty years prison sentence but has leave to appeal.
The full details of the case remain unclear because the entire procedure
of the trial has lacked transparency and the denial of witness testimony
has been to such an extent that not only Bulgarian law but also natural
law appear to have been violated.
According to the basic principle of most legal systems in the democratic
world, that one is innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable
doubt, both the prosecution of Jock's case and the resulting verdict
appear to have been unsafe and unfair. Justice has neither been done
nor, even more importantly, been seen to be done. Jock has been denied
the elementary requirements of a proper legal defence and, thus, a fair
As human rights activists from thirty-three European countries, we call
for a retrial of Jock's case in which he will be given the full right to
judicial transparency and a full and proper legal representation,
including the right to subpoena witnesses both friendly and hostile to
face the normal practice of cross-examination. Additionally, we call
upon the Bulgarian justice authorities to grant Jock the right to full
bail so that he can properly prepare a case for his defence.
Until Jock is provided with these elementary legal and human rights, his
trial and conviction cannot be seen in any way as an expression of
justice of any kind.
UNITED for Intercultural Action, meeting in Budapest from 11 May to 16
May 2010 expresses its full solidarity with Jock and his family and
their efforts to prove his innocence and secure his early release.
for more information see: http://www.freejock.net
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