LCRI appeals for the immediate release of Arevik

April 21, 2010 at 7:43 am 1 comment

Arevik, a 22-year-old Armenian national pregnant in her third month, is currently coercively “accommodated” in the Special Centre for Temporary Accommodation of Foreigners in Busmantsi, Sofia. Arevik has been detained in order to execute an order for her deportation. The order has been issued after the girl overstayed her tourist visa, on which she arrived in Bulgaria to be with her boyfriend David. David is formally a national of Armenia. However, for the duration of 18 years by now, since he was six-years old, David has been living with his family in Bulgaria. Despite his deep integration in the Bulgarian society, David has no identity documents and, accordingly, his status is one of an “illegal” immigrant. Arevik remained together with David in Bulgaria since without documents he cannot travel outside the country. They cannot get married for the same reason.

At the date of Arevik’s coercive “accommodation” in the Special Centre for Temporary Accommodation of Foreigners in Busmantsi on 9 March 2010, her deportation order was formally in accordance with the technical provisions of the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria. However, in detention Arevik found out that she was pregnant. On the basis of this new circumstance she applied for humanitarian protection in Bulgaria to preserve the integrity of her family with David (pursuant to Arevik’s deportation order, she is banned from entering Bulgaria for a period of five years). The State Agency for Refugees registered Arevik’s application for humanitarian protection on 30 March 2010. From this moment on, ex lege the actions for her deportation should be suspended. In spite of this, the authorities continue to keep Arevik in detention with a view to deport her. Arevik’s detention since 30 March 2010 is unlawful. The legal arguments substantiating the unlawfulness of her detention as presented by the lawyer Valeria Ilareva can be found here

Two broadcastings on the Bulgarian National Radio covered the case of Arevik and David [in Bulgarian language]: on 24 March 2010 and 15 April 2010.

You can read more on the case and on the civil society support for Arevik and David here [in Bulgarian language].

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