Jul 28 2019

Bulgaria: Antifascist Prisoner Jock Palfreeman Denied Parole

27.07.19: Last week in Sofia, Bulgaria, 32-year-old anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman was denied parole on his 20-year prison sentence for murder. Jock was convicted in 2009 of the stabbing murder of Andrei Monov and the attempted murder of Anton Zahariev. The death occurred after Jock went to the aid of two Roma boys who were being attacked by a racist gang in Sofia in December 2007; he has now spent over 11 years behind bars as a result. All appeals against the conviction and sentence — along with attempts to convince Bulgarian authorities to allow him to serve the rest of his sentence in Australia — have failed, and it seems likely that Jock will not be released until the full 20-year sentence has been served.
Coming to terms with serving such a lengthy sentence in a foreign country is obviously a difficult matter, but during the course of his incarceration Jock has remained politically-active. Thus Jock has been an outspoken prisoners’ rights advocate throughout his term and in 2012 Jock was instrumental in establishing the ‘Bulgarian Prisoners’  Rehabilitation Association’ (BPRA), the first organisation of its kind in the country. In 2015 he was even nominated for a human rights award for his work in this field. Despite operating within a very hostile political environment, Jock’s work and that of the BPRA has nonetheless won recognition and support by some outside Sofia prison’s walls, and it’s hoped that reform within the prison system might be accompanied by positive changes outside of it — as unlikely as that may presently seem.

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