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April 11-17: International Week of Action for Jock Palfreeman (Bulgaria)

Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian, who lived in Bristol (UK) for some time, and on the 27th of December 2007, had the courage to stand up against 16 fascist hooligans on a night out in Sofia, Bulgaria. He witnessed the fascists chasing and attacking two young Roma boys. Jock ran to the boys’ aid, he did his best to keep the fascists at bay by waving a knife at them but they attacked him. Jock was left with nowhere to run and had no choice but to defend himself. Andrey Monov, one of the racist gang, was stabbed and killed and another, Anton Zahariev was injured. The Roma boys ran away.

Jock has since been tried and sentenced for murder and attempted murder. He has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and has been fined 375,000 Australian dollars. Jock has spent much of the time he has already served in isolation due to a legal loop hole used by the prison authorities. Andrey Monovs father is well known in Bulgaria and at the funeral there were a mixture of judges, police and politicians. Jocks trial was (not surprisingly) a complete sham – yet another example of corruption and secret handshakes in the judicial system. The prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the other Nazis that were there that night, all claiming that Jock randomly attacked the group and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. Key people and possible witnesses for Jocks defence were never interviewed by police and the CCTV footage from the scene miraculously went missing. Many of the statements made at the time were not the same as the statements submitted to the court by the prosecution.
Jocks statement has remained consistent from the night in question.

You can read Jocks official statement at www.freejock.com
You can also watch a documentary about his case that contains interviews with Jock at the following links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Jock appealed against his sentence and few court hearings took place between October 2010 and January 2011. Despite police officers confirming his version of events, one of the fascists making totally incoherent statements in court trying to explain why he changed his original testimony , mounting evidence of judicial errors during the initial trial and all other factors pointing to his innocence his sentence of 20 years was upheld. (For Jocks statement about this please go here) He has one last chance of appealing against that decision.

It is now more important than ever that we collectively put as much pressure on the Bulgarian authorities as possible to accept Jocks final appeal.

From the 11th to the 17th of April there will be another International week of action for Jock. The more creative the actions the better. Don’t let the Bulgarian state bury this courageous man alive in prison! Don’t let them think that they can get away with it!

If you are short of ideas why not try one of the following;

Organize solidarity actions outside Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates etc.
(for a list of the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates please see here).

Phone the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates with your protests.

Help us to bombard the Bulgarian Authorities with letters of protest and requests for Jocks appeal to be accepted. (please see below for a list of addresses).

If you want us to help promote your events send us the details at anarchosolidarity (at) yahoo.co.uk
Ideally protest letters are best written in your own words BUT we have provided a sample letter (below) that can be sent if you do not want to write your own. Just print it out, sign it and post it, it’s as simple as that. Feel free to reprint it and distribute it to anyone you think may send a copy.

We need to get the pressure up and keep it up.

Addresses to post, fax and email your letters of protest to:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: 2 Aleksander Zhendov Str
Sofia 1040
BULGARIA
Tel: +359 2 948 2999

(ready form for sending messages from their website, very helpful)

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria LONDON
186-188 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5HL
Tel.: (0044) (0) 207 584 9400, (0) 207 584 9433
Fax: (0044) (0) 207 584 4948
E-mail: information@bulgarianembassy.org.uk

Information, Public Relations and European Communication Directorate
Director: Sofia Vladimirova
Tel: +359 2 971 1408. OR +359 2 971 3778. OR +359 2 948 2218.
Fax: +359 2 870 3041
E-mail: iprd@mfa.government.bg

Ministry’s Reception Desk

Tel: +359 2 948 2018 OR +359 2 971 1054
(opening hrs 09.30 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.00)

Ministry of Justice
E-mail: pr@justice.government.bg

Finally, please write to Jock, even if it’s only a ‘good luck’ postcard. Any letters and postcards help to keep Jock feeling positive and high spirited and all are gratefully received. You can write to Jock at the following address:

Jock Palfreeman,
Sofia Central Prison,
21 General Stoletov Boulevard,
Sofia 1309,
BULGARIA

Sample letter below:

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you in regards to Australian National Jock Palfreeman.

Mr. Palfreeman is currently imprisoned in Sofia Central Prison in Bulgaria. After defending two young innocent boys from a viscous attack by a group of drunken football hooligans, and later being forced to defend himself against the same assailants, he was sentenced to twenty years incarceration under charges of murder and attempted murder.

He is clearly only guilty of causing accidental death while using self defence.

Mr. Palfreeman witnessed the gang (of around 16 men) attacking the two boys and ran to their aid. While trying to keep the gang at bay he suffered a viscous attack and was left with no choice but to defend himself. His version of events has remained consistent since the night in question and is supported by numerous witnesses. All of whom are prepared to testify in his defence.

It has since transpired that at his trial, to my astonishment, key people and possible witnesses were never interviewed by police, the CCTV footage from the scene went missing and many of the statements that were submitted to the court by the prosecution were not the same as the statements made (by the same people) on the night in question. Anything working in favour of Mr. Palfreemans’ defence was completely disregarded by the judge and the prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made by the football hooligans that initially attacked the two boys, all claiming that Mr. Palfreeman randomly attacked them and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. The trial was a farce!

I ask that the Bulgarian Authorities grant him his appeal and release him from those absurd charges!

Mr. Palfreeman selflessly saved the lives of two young boys, risking his own safety and costing him his own freedom. He should be deemed a hero, not a cold blooded killer!

Regards,

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 12:12 pm and is filed under Anti-Fascist, Prison Struggle.