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GROUNDS: Art.1 and Art.4 of the Law on Responsibility of the State for Damages Caused to Citizens, with reference to Art.4, clause 2, Art.14, Art.26, clause 1, Art.45, and Art.56 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as Art.?, Art.4, Art.8, Art.11, Art.35, Art.42, and Art.44 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children; as well as the Declaration the Rights of Children, principle 8: “In all cases the child shall be among the first to be provided with protection and help” and principle 9: “The child shall be protected from any and all forms of neglect, cruelty, and exploitation.  The same shall not be subject to trade in any form whatsoever.”
YOUR HONOR,
My minor aged son Savestin Todorov Deyanov was kidnapped on the 22.09.1988 by persons unknown. An investigation was instigated for a crime of general character on the case.  The investigation was discontinued and recommenced several times on the basis of various Orders of the Sofia Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the Resolution on divorce case No. 481/91, the care and education of the born into the marriage child Savestin, born on 22.09.1988, were entrusted to myself.  For the duration of 5 years and 4 months I alone cared for Savestin, educated him… but fate took him from me… From the day of his birth till the date of his kidnapping we lived together, enjoyed great love to each other, as well as warm relations and trust.  For this reason, his loss caused heavy damage to my human and father’s faith. For almost five years now I have pleaded by complaints, claims, and petitions before all the competent state authorities of the Republic of Bulgaria, who could have any influence on the case, to undertake the respective actions, which the national and international legislation obliges them to undertake in order to guarantee to my child the rights to free life and identity in his home country and family.
However, the authorities have remained deaf, mute … and absent! I only meet neglect and inactivity… The child Savestin lost his childhood and his rights because of the refusal of the State to find him.  For over 4 years!?  The State, represented by its authorities conscientiously infringed Art.? of the UN Convention: “The highest interests of the child shall be the most important consideration in any actions with reference to children…” The leaders of the State did not even bother to reply to my complaints.  Savestin lost as of May 6th, 1997 his identity, name, and family connections, his freedom, but the State did not in practice provide any of the rights of his person, which formally the same guarantees in accordance with the provisions of Art.4, clause 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria – “… guarantee the life, dignity, and rights of the person…” A logical consequence of this constitutionally pronounced principle are the provisions of Art.26 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, according to which “The citizens of the Republic of Buglaria, wherever they find themselves, shall have all the rights and obligations in accordance with the provisions hereof”.
Lost children should be looked for in any spot of the world, even if their parents do not care for them, even when they have no parents.  However, our State does not think, nor act in this way for any child. The police are indifferent, and the law is inactive.  As a result I am daily subjected to constant pain and suffering.  As a result of the experienced horror from the loss of my loving son, I lost my sleep, my health, but not the hope of finding him soon.  Even though I physically exist in this dimension, I am not alive… My days are black and filed with sorrow, without any happiness… My nights are sleepless and full of nightmares… From this horrible sorrow, I feel my internal organs as a sour ball in my throat.  The lack of information kills me and drowns me in tears.  From time to time, I feel an expectation that at any moment now I will hear the sunny laughter of my child, then in the next moment I feel the horror that he is subjected to torture, that he is in pain and is calling to me for help, or that he even may not be alive… I am not able to help him, because the police are playing with my fatherhood, and the State is playing with my fight to help my own and other children.
For over four years now I have been fighting the state authorities and institutions – the Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the President, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Police Forces, the Criminal Investigation Services, and the Sofia Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office, but they have remained scandalously indifferent. They did not pay any attention to my numerous complaints, petitions, proposals, publications.  They took from my child his right to be searched for and from me they took my chance to help and hold him.  As if Savestin and myself are really without any rights.
The Republic of Bulgaria is conscientiously not a side to the International Convention against Kidnapping of Children, by which the same infringes the execution of the provisions of Art.11 and Art.35 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, namely: “The State shall undertake all the required measures at national, bilateral, and multilateral level for the purpose of preventing the kidnapping, sales or trade in children in any form and for any purpose”. And what more suitable measure could there be on a multilateral level than the ratification of the International Convention against Kidnapping of Children, which could provide the possibilities to execute operational investigative search for my son on an international scale. The ratified in 1991 UN Convention on the Rights of Children provides in its Art. 42 for an obligation of the State “to declare publicly the principles and the provisions of the Convention both among adults and among children by means of suitable and active actions”.  If such a declaration existed, I would know how to fight for the rights and the search for my child.  However, such activities are not performed by any state authority within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
There is a complete blackout on behalf of the state authorities and institutions with reference to the measures, which they have undertaken to provide for the rights of children. Art.44 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children obliges the State to submit to the UN Commission reports on the measures, which the same has undertaken to provide for the rights of children, as recognized by the Convention, and the progress achieved in the exercise of these rights, to make these reports publicly available to the society in its own country. However, there is not even a single report on these measures published in the mass media in the Republic of Bulgaria, which could have reached the Bulgarian public.  What does the State hide from its public and its children? Is there even a single word in these reports on the traffic and trade in children, illegal adoption, or disappeared children?  If other parents and myself had been informed, we would have requested more measures and cooperation from the State and its authorities.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Children is a part of our local legislation.  On this basis, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers should have long ago executed their obligations under this Convention, as provided for by Art. 4 of the same: “The State shall be obliged to undertake all the required legislative, administrative, and other measures to provide for the rights of children, as recognized by this Convention”. Till date, the State has not executed any of its obligations with reference to the above.  For ten years after the ratification of the Convention Bulgaria did not have even a Law on Child Protection. 10 years of inactivity!?
In 1998 mayors and local authority members collected 5516 signatures throughout the country and submitted the same on January 19th to the President with a petition for the protection of Savestin and other Bulgarian disappeared children to instigate an effective search both within the country and abroad and for the priority voting of the Law on Children.  Even then, in 1998, the Parliament did not vote on the Law on Children, the State did not execute its obligations under the Convention, did not erect an effective prevention and search system for children.  They did not find even a single one of the declared as disappeared children.  Savestin became the victim of the inactivity of the police and of the State.
From May 6th till 27th of 1999, I held an effective hunger strike at the center of the capital with widely published requests for: a good law on child protection, criminalization of child disappearance, special protection for children. In a special subscription throughout the nation, over 200 000 compatriots and children supported me. For twenty two days none of the state authorities paid any attention to my requests. In order to impress any other parent, who would dare to fight for the rights and laws for our children.
This led to a sequential hunger strike, held on September 15th, 1999 in 17 Bulgarian towns.  The state authorities and leaders again did not show any concern. Why did we have to reach the point to hold hunger strikes? The State was supposed to take care to protect the rights of Bulgarian children long ago all by itself. In both of these activities conducted in 1999, the state authorities refused to act and showed their disregard with reference to myself, Savestin and others like us.
I became the initiator for the establishment as a legal entity of a non-government organization, the Savest (“Conscience”) Foundation, the aims and purposes of which were related to the creation in the Republic of Bulgaria of real conditions for the protection of the rights of Bulgarian children.  As a result of my own efforts and due to the imperative public outcry for the implementation of such a law, as of January 1st, 2001, a disabled Law on Protection of Children came into force in Bulgaria, which law is unwanted, inactive, unable and does not guarantee the rights of children. On top of everything, it is endlessly late.  My child and myself were directly damaged by this legislative inactivity of ten years duration.
As of date in 2002, the State has not practically complied with any of our requests dating from 1998 and 1999.  Instead of enacting a legislative package for protecting the rights of children, criminilizing the disappearance of children, establishing a system for searching children in Bulgaria and abroad and a specialized court for children, a useless bureaucratic organization of the totalitarian type was created under the name of State Agency for Children without any effective powers.  Activities and lack of activities continue till date to infringe the rights of children and their parents and, specifically of myself and Savestin.  Due to the maintained legislative vacuum and the insufficient methodology and technology, Bulgarian children continue to disappear and the disappeared are left without any chance to be found and saved.  I was forced to provoke the state authorities from September 18th till September 22nd of 2001 by a new hunger strike, held in front of the Presidency.  I submitted three petitions to the Council of Ministers, namely: Manifest to the Nation, Ref. No. 2715 dated 18.09.2001; How the Lackeys of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Maintained the Organized by Themselves Traffic in Women and Children, Ref. No. 2715 dated 19.09.2001 and What Shall We Do?, Ref. No. 2715 dated 21.09.2001. The petitions were sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Parliament.  However, there has been no legislative or other type of development on the posed by myself problems till date.  The state authorities do not care about Savestin, they do not care for the rights of Bulgarian children and their parents.
For a whole year now super contemporary equipment for updating children’s portraits remains inactive at the Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs due to lack of goodwill and the continuing inactivity of the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to input into the computer the required picture files.  I requested the Minister of Education and Sciences to provide the required picture files from schools and kindergartens, since without the same we will never be able to use the technology for growing-older portraits. Nobody paid any attention to me.
The problem with searching for disappeared children is made even more difficult due to the fact that the police in the Republic of Bulgaria are monopolists in this type of activities. There are no licensed private detective agencies in Bulgaria due to the fact that there is no legislative basis for such activities.  The truth in such searches is controlled solely by the police and truth is only what the policemen decide it to be.  Savestin and myself have suffered directly from all of the above.
Finally, when all the state authorities and institutions remain inactive, the only last remaining resort are the courts – either here or on an international scale!
In the case of Savestin, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is guilty of the following:
1.             The child was announced as disappeared 6 days after his disappearance without adequate distribution of his pictures;
2.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs did not close the borders and did not check the visas at the border checkpoints;
3.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs produced an absurd, but convenient version “Luvov Most”, and in practice annulled any other version at the time, which de facto blocked the search for Savestin;
4.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs did not instigate an investigation in 1997, hid evidence, did not pay attention to signals, did not question the main suspects (an Iranian narcotics dealer, trader in weapons and people, even though the same was detained for more than a year at the Central Penitentiary).  Instead of that, the questioned and investigated person was myself;
5.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs lied to me and to the public with a fake notice to Interpol (In fact, Savestin was announced in a yellow bulletin of Interpol as late as February of 2000 after the scandal in Jordan). However, he was announced with conscientiously imaginary and fatally mistaken description and other details, in order to prevent the chance of recognition.  Duly described (without the mistaken circumstances and other wrong descriptions), Savestin was finally included in the yellow bulletin on January 4th, 2001! A long time of inactivity only on the subject of Interpol;
6.             The Central Service for Fight against Organized Crime refused in 1999 to work on the case of Savestin, notwithstanding the published in the 24 Hours newspaper on September 24th 1999 order of Bogomil Bonev;
7.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs did not work and do anything on the version, which shocked all Bulgarians “Savestin or his double is in Baghdad”. The Jordanian authorities cooperated with me, but the Bulgarian police refused to do so;
8.             The Ministry of Internal Affairs refused to compile an updated portrait of the child;
9.             It was established that the Investigation Services have also been inactive for 3 years, notwithstanding the instigation of investigation case number 235/98 at the Sofia Investigation Service, according to which the necessary procedural and investigative actions were not undertaken to find the perpetrator.
The stated above motivates the present claim application.
PETITUM:
The court is hereby requested to subpoena the accused before the court and, upon having been convinced in the motivation and truth of the sated by myself, to issue a resolution, by which to sentence them to collectively pay to me the amount of 70 000 (seventy thousand) Bulgarian Lev, complete with the legal interest on the said amount as of the date of the kidnapping – 06.05.1997, till the date of the final payment, comprising reimbursement for non-material damages, consisting of the caused to myself pain and suffering from my separation from my son Savestin Todorov Deyanov, kidnapped on the 06.05.1997 by persons unknown, for the following reasons:
§                Non-performance of the obligations of the legislative authorities, represented by the fifth accused, to establish an adequate legislative basis for protecting the interests of the child in accordance with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children as part of the national legislation;
§                Non-performance of adequate operational investigative actions by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its structures for the discovery of my kidnapped child;
§                Non-performance of the required procedural and investigative actions by the Sofia Investigation Service according to investigation case number 235/98 to establish the perpetrators of the crime – the kidnapping of my son;
§                Discontinuation of the work on investigation case number 235/98 on the list of the Sofia Investigation Service by the controlling public prosecutor of the Sofia Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The lack of activity on the part of all of the above authorities, as described in the circumstantial part of the present claim application, has led to the non-establishment of the perpetrators of the crime, thus these same authorities are guilty of causing to me the continuous pain and suffering from the loss of my son.
EVIDENCE:
The Court is kindly requested to admit the following written evidence:
1.             Certificate of birth of Savestin;
2.             Resolution of the Sofia City Court on civil case number 481 dated 17.01.1992 on the divorce and provision of the parental rights to myself;
3.             Public Prosecutor’s Decrees dated 12.03.2001 and 30.11.2001 on prosecution case number 34261 dated 1998 with reference to the actions on investigation case number 235/98 of the Sofia Investigation Service;
4.             Open letter dated May 27th, 1997, published in the national newspapers. The result was that instead of the state authorities undertaking the necessary actions to find Savestin, I was threatened at the 9th Regional Police Department that “they will crush me”;
5.             Statement of a mother ref. No. 9401 on case No. 1708 dated 23.06.1997, published also in the press.  The mother’s tears did not affect anyone, except the Member of Parliament Hr. Ivanov, who was the first in our history to ask the Parliament about a disappeared child. The police became active only for a day or two, until the noise subsided. Then, again – nothing;
6.             Application dated 27.10.1997 by the mother and myself to Ivan Kostov, who did not even bother to reply and never expressed any concern with the problem as a Prime Minister and a politician.  For the duration of four years he only showed his disregard;
7.             Subscription of 5516 signatures with ref. No. 9401 on case No. 132 dated 09.01.1998 from 30 municipalities in defense of Savestin for his effective search and for the enactment of the overdue Law on Child Protection and the article on page 13 of Trud newspaper dated January 22nd, 1998.  The President and the State did not react with reference to the effective search of Savestin in any way;
8.             Application No. R507 dated 27.10.1997 to Nadejda Mihaylova, who decided not to show any concern on the problem as a Foreign Minister or a mother;
9.             Appeal No. 9401 on case No. 10 dated 04.01.1999 by myself and the father of a 12-year old killed child to the Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the President, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to all the lawyers in the country. Nobody replied.
10.         Hunger strike May 06-27, 1999: (1) Sevastin’s notebook, in which the first 3355 signatures were compiled; (2) Article on the whole page 13 of Trud newspaper dated May 14th 1999 concerning the ninth day without food as a sign of protest; (3) Petition “I will go effectively on a hunger strike”, Ref. No. 2659 dated 04.05.1999 of the Council of Ministers; (4) Petition “To Society”, also duly deposited on 25.05.1999; (5) Letter from five Members of the 38th Parliament dated May 20th 1999 to discontinue my hunger strike; (6) Open declaration letter, signed in 17 towns by over 900 persons, to declare a warning hunger strike dated 15.09.1999; (7) Two forms from the nation-wide subscription, in which many children participated as well.
11.         Repeated plea for a veto, Ref. No. 9401 on case No. 482 dated 05.06.2000;
12.         Reply of Petar Stoyanov to my insistence for a veto on the voted Law on Child Protection.  The President undertook certain obligations, but he simply lied;
13.         Open letter Ref. No. 9401 on case No. 68 dated 17.02.2000 from myself and the mother of a kidnapped 6-year old boy.  The residents of 5 Bulgarian towns supported us, but the President did not reply and did not undertake anything;
14.         A father’s cry dated 15.09.2000 and petition “Disappeared Children – the Active Inactivity of the Police”, sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Presidency.  Notwithstanding the publication and the wide-spread public interest, P. Stoyanov and E. Yordanov did not react in any way, neither as statesmen, nor as fathers or compatriots;
15.         Complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs Ref. No. 1320 dated 09.03.2000. No reply from E. Yordanov;
16.         Concerning the non-announcement of Savestin for an international search: (1) Page 13 of Trud newspaper dated March 6th 2000 concerning the fatal method of announcement of the disappearance of Sevastin; (2) Ref. No. ? 1971/00 dated 08.06.2000 from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in which they lie to me that they have corrected the information; (3) Ref. No. ?3961/00 dated 15.11.2000, by which the Ministry of Internal Affairs admits even more incorrect information on Savestin; (4) Order SRP No. 34261 dated 19.12.2000 for the immediate performance of correction in the bulletin; (5) Letter from the Ministry of Internal Affairs Ref. No. ?6318/00 dated 09.01.2001, in which they do not even bother to provide excuses for the 4 years of inactivity, but shows that Savestin has been duly announced in Interpol as late as  04.01.2001; (6) Open complaint dated November 20th 2000 to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Supreme Public Prosecution Appeal Court, the Presidency.  The Supreme Public Prosecution Appeal Court was the only one to react in due time.  If anything depended on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Presidency, there would still be no progress whatsoever; Article from page 5 of the 24 Hours newspaper dated October 5th 2001, which states that only 4 Bulgarian children have been announced for searching at Interpol.  Actually, none of them stands a chance of ever being found.
17.         Article “Savestin Kidnapped for a Narcodealer’s Debt” from page 1 of 24 Hours newspaper dated September 23rd 1999;
18.         Article “Bonev Ordered an Investigation” from page 1 of 24 Hours newspaper dated September 24th 1999. No investigation was instigated and the anti-mafia forces did not search for Savestin. Why? The answer is known only to General Kiril Radev of the Central Service for Fight against Organized Crime;
19.         On the Baghdad version: (1) Article from page 1 of Trud newspaper dated October 20th 1999 concerning the recognition of Savestin from a picture taken in Baghdad; (2) Article “The Dervishes Propose a Deal for Savestin” from page 13 of Trud newspaper dated February 12th 2000; (3) Official Note No. NC25/1/1520 by the Ministry of External Affairs of Jordan dated 24.02.2000.  The Jordanians wanted and provided cooperation, while the Bulgarian police did not want to work at all on this version.  I personally had to arrange the trip, the search, expertise, etc., but it all came to nothing due to the refusal of the police to do anything.  Is Savestin in Baghdad, or isn’t he? Shall I search for him there or elsewhere?; (4) The three photos for comparison – of Savestin dated 1997, the argued photo of X-Factor dated 1998, and of the Iraqi child dated 2000;
20.         Open appeal to Kostov, Bosilkov, Vasilev dated March 26th 2001. Published and transmitted on TV. Three officials inactive totally and constantly in damage to Savestin;
21.         Hunger strike from September 18th till 22nd 2001: (1) Manifest to the Nation Ref. No. 2715 dated 18.09.2001; (2) How the Lackeys of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Maintained the Organized by Themselves Traffic in Women and Children dated 19.09.2001; (3) What Shall We Do? Ref. No. 2715 dated 21.09.2001; Publication of Novinar newspaper dated September 20th 2001.  Notwithstanding the publications, press conferences, TV reports, etc., all the statesmen and state authorities kept their silence.  The Council of Ministers has still not replied till date;
22.          Two letters from the State Agency for Children Ref. No. 97111-01 dated 11.04.2001 and dated 17.05.2001, from which it becomes clear that the Agency will check something…
23.         Appeal for help to Mr. Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Minister Petkanov, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Minister Pasi. The same have received the letters on the 25th and 26th of September, as can be proven by the receipts. None of the three has replied, as did their three predecessors Ivano Kostov, Em. Yordanov, and N. Mihaylova.  Complete disregard for a kidnapped Bulgarian child – the scandalously famous one!
24.         Letters to the conscience of: Mr. Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha, the Members of the Parliament, the Presidential candidates, deposited at the Council of Ministers, Ref. No. 2715/99 dated 18.10.2001.  The Prime Minister remains silent again and does not reply in any way.  Why?
25.         Appeal to Associate Professor Doctor Vl. Atanasov at the Ministry of Education and Sciences dated November 29th 2001, Ref. No. 52030, to collect the required photo materials in order for the unique computer system at the Scientific Research Institute at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to be able to start working on the updating of the portraits of disappeared children.
City of Sofia - 25. 01. 2002        T. Deyanov