Hunger Strike Declaration

Today, August 11th, 2020, I, the undersigned Dimitur Vassilev Velin, hereby declare a hunger strike, unlimited in time, in personal protest against the cleptocratic rule of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the impunity of the Head Prosecutor Ivan Geshev. Being physically unable to attend the massive protests in Sofia and the other Bulgarian cities, I will remain in a state of hunger strike at my residential village of Vlahi, municipality of  Kresna, on the southwest of Bulgaria, until definitive resignations of Mr. Borisov and Mr. Geshev are officially confirmed.    

I have been actively opposing the guided destruction of the Bulgarian nature and the related corruption and steal of public resources ever since 1988. The Bulgarian authorities have always been fighting against nature conservation, this is nothing new. However, over the last 10 years under Mr. Borisov’s dictatorship, the situation became really unbearable. The criminal acts directly performed or silently supported by the government include but are not limited to ruining the Black sea coastal and marine ecosystems, persistent attempts for stealing and destroying the territory of Pirin National Park (an UNESCO World Heritage Site), killing the vitality and ecosystem services provided by the Bulgarian rivers, illegal import of waste from Italy and other EU Member States that is afterwards incinerated or dumped, with all harmful effects for the environment. The list can be prolonged with endless examples.      

For the last 23 years, I am leading a public campaign aimed to save the Kresna Gorge, a landscape with pristine natural features that are unique for the European continent. Prime Minister Borisov is making every effort to destroy this marvelous NATURA 2000 site of Community interest by planning (and already implementing) the construction of a highway straight through the Gorge. Mr. Borisov’s regime is doing this instead of applying any of the existing alternative options, which were much better in terms of nature protection and road safety, and – most important – were previously approved by the EC and the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water. Therefore, in 2019, I deposited a petition initiated and signed by me, on behalf of the local people. The Chairwoman of the Committee on Petitions to the European Parliament violated rudely the procedures and, under obvious pressure from the Bulgarian MEPs of the EPP and ECR groups, in coordination with the Bulgarian ruling coalition, closed the petition with a decision for no further steps required.      

I do insist on the resignations of Mr. Borisov and Mr. Geshev for recovery of democracy in Bulgaria, for bringing back the rule of law, for saving the Bulgarian nature and environment, for stopping the malign unity between government and organised crime, and for a future without corruption. I will not cease my hunger strike until Borisov and Geshev stay in power.

Village of Vlahi,
Kresna Gorge,
11 August 2020