Information, since 1992, on the treatment of those who apply for the return of property that was nationalized at the end of World War II, or shortly thereafter [BGR23540.E]

In a telephone interview on 29 March 1996, the chair of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee in Sofia provided the following information. The chair has not heard any reports since 1992 indicating that the authorities are mistreating those who have applied for ownership of land that was nationalized at the end of World War II. However, some of the land that was formerly nationalized is owned by people who are neither the former owners nor the descendants of the former owners. There have been instances since 1992 in which these landowners, or people under their control, or those who are renting the land, have committed acts of intimidation and violence against the former owners or descendants of former owners who are attempting to reacquire ownership of the land. In some cases, the perpetrators of the intimidation and violence have been apprehended and prosecuted, while in other cases they have not been caught. The chair added that the current owners or renters of land may pose a threat to those who are attempting to reacquire their land.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Sofia. 29 March 1996. Telephone interview with chair.

Additional Sources Consulted

DIRB country file on Bulgaria.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. Daily.

News from Helsinki Watch [New York]. Monthly.

On-line search of media sources.

Other oral sources.

RFE/RL Research Reports [Munich]. Weekly.

Transition: Events and Issues in the Former Soviet Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe [Prague]. Bi-monthly.