Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Help Arevik: innocent, pregnant, imprisoned
Arevik with her beloved David (photo copied from Svetla Encheva's blog).
I know Arevik's story from Bulgarian bloggers Svetla Encheva (here and here) and Lyd (here and here).
Briefly, Arevik Shmavonyan is a young Armenian woman. 5 years ago, she met on Skype David Arutyunyan, a young man of Armenian origin living in the city of Montana, Bulgaria. They fell in love and about 3 months ago Arevik came to Bulgaria to unite with her beloved. They could not marry because Bulgarian bureaucracy refused to clear their paperwork, but started living together. After Arevik's 1-month visa expired, she obtained a permission to remain for additional 14 days. However, despite this permission she was sent to the infamous detention facility in the Sofia district of Busmanci, where refugees and candidate immigrants are kept indefinitely without clear reasons (I have blogged about this facility in my earlier post Prison by any other name).
In Busmanci, Arevik found out that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy is problematic, causing cyclic vomiting and severe eating and sleeping problems. Arevik has been in Busmanci already for one month, and for this time has been taken twice to hospital unconscious. Nevertheless, she is still kept there, in a room with about 10 other women and without adequate care. Although Arevik has done nothing wrong, her release is not in sight, and her life is in peril as well as the life of her unborn child.
I appeal to you to try to help Arevik. Svetla Encheva in her April 18 post gives a beautiful model letter citing appropriate quotes from Bulgarian and European legislature, as well as the addresses of the Montana Police Department whose orders have led to Arevik's imprisonment. I shall not translate the letter - knowing the English proficiency of our average law enforcer, I think a short note comprised of simple words would do a better job. In fact, I think that the police will be more impressed by the mere obtaining of messages from abroad written in English than by their text.
Here are two e-mail addresses of the Montana Police Department: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill this form. At the top line, you must select "MBP - област Монтана" (Montana Police Department). The lines below are, respectively, for your first name, family name, e-mail, postal address, subject of your message and then comes the field for the text of your message. You are also advised to send a paper letter at the following address:
Comissar Valeri Dimitrov
Police Department - Montana
2 Aleksander Stamboliiski Blvd
I also advise you to turn to the Ministry of Interior in the capital Sofia. Its contact form is here. The lines are (from top) for your first name, family name, address, telephone, e-mail and below is the field for the text of the message. The postal address is as follows:
Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov
Ministry of Interior
29, 6th of September Street