21:56 GMT24 November 2020
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    Many Arab refugees are doing their best to avoid ending up in Bulgaria, which they as see as the most migrant-unfriendly country, according to the German news network Deutsche Welle.

    With the migration crisis in full swing in Europe, Germany's Deutsche Welle examined why most Arab refugees see Bulgaria as the most migrant-unfriendly country.

    Remarkably, a "memo for refugees" in Arabic describes Bulgaria as the world's most hostile nation when it comes to attitudes to migrants, according to Deutsche Welle. It calls Bulgaria a country where xenophobia and Islamophobia run rampant.

    Deutsche Welle referred to the human rights organization ProAsyl, which quoted an unnamed Iraqi refugee as saying that when in Bulgaria, he was attacked by a group of locals.

    "I managed to escape, but my friend failed to do so. He was knocked to the ground. Four of the attackers stepped on his hands and feet, while the fifth assailant jumped on my friend as if he was a trampoline," the refugee said.

    He described his life in Bulgaria as a "real hell," saying that "all the time I spent there was a succession of suffering insults and humiliations."

    More than 10,000 people from Arab countries arrived in Bulgaria with the first wave of refugees between 2013 and 2014. They frequently complain of the ill-treatment they receive both by the Bulgarian authorities and the population as a whole.

    Although Bulgaria has insisted that refugees deliberately exaggerate their stories in order to continue on their path to Western Europe, the fact remains that the majority of Bulgarians have an extremely negative attitude to the refugees.

    Attacks, as well as demonstrations and political actions against refugees are not uncommon in Bulgaria, where most citizens believe that they do not want any refugees because Bulgaria is a poor Christian country, according to Deutsche Welle.

    The fact that most of the refugees are Muslims adds fuel to the fire given that Bulgaria's national identity is first of all based on the simplified history of the so-called "500 years of Turkish rule," during which the territory of today's Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire.

    It seems that refugees are well aware of this attitude and try to stay away from Bulgaria, where asylum seekers live "in camps in inhumane conditions," according to the Arab memo.

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    Tags:
    attitude, crisis, human rights, migrants, refugees, Deutsche Welle, Bulgaria
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