#Human Rights
Mr. Boiko Borisov - Prime minister, Mr. Hristo Ivanov - Minister of Justice, Mr. Dimitar Tonchev -

In Bulgaria one can get away with almost anything, even murder. There is one thing, though, one can never get away with - showing compassion and kindness towards animals.

After the scandalous institutional harassment and persecution of d-r Litov in 2013 and the illegal trespassing on his property by a lynch mob, which resulted in a brutal attack and beating of the crippled dog Borko, rescued by the doctor, it is his mother now - Maria Litova, a 78 years old, disabled pensioner, who is about to pay the price for being a responsible human being. Litova was harassed and threatened by municipal authorities on numerous occasions for feeding, nursing and rescuing stray cats and dogs, even questioned by the police, regarding her "activities". When it didn't work, the Bulgarian government cooked up a ridiculous charge against her, only to make an innocent and helpless old lady an example of how caring is wrong!

At the end of 2014 Litova was served with a municipal order, signed by the mayor of Plovdiv - Ralio Ralev, accusing her of "altering the structure???!!! of her home without a building permit". Litova lives in a small, one bedroom flat and her only "crime" is securing the balcony with a safety wire net, to protect her four cats from falling. According to the applicable national laws /Territorial Management Code/, minor upgrades, which do not change the overall construction of the building, do not require any permission whatsoever.

It is evidently clear that securing a balcony with a wire net is no different than putting up a mosquito net or a sunshade, especially if there are no concrete or masonry repairs, wall tear-offs or heavy drilling. Despite the absurdity of the charge and all the evidence of her innocence, despite the fact that there is no such legal precedent in Bulgaria, Litova was taken to court and wrongly convicted by unscrupulous Judge. Not only does she stand to loose her pension, in order to pay the attorney and court fees, but she may soon face a raid of her property by government officials and police, who will forcefully remove the safety net, exposing her pets to imminent danger.

We can not let this happen. Every single time a rogue government official or a Judge abuse their power, we must all raise our voices. It is the only way to protect both citizens and their animal companions. Things won't change in this godforsaken country, unless the outcry is international and sustained.

Dear Sir,

We, the undersigned, are shocked, dismayed and appalled by how Maria Litova has been harassed and wrongly victimized by the unscrupulous mayor of Plovdiv and a corrupt Judge for securing her balcony with a safety net. We believe these shameful actions of Bulgarian institutions to be an effort to punish Litova only for being a responsible, caring pet owner. Her prosecution is a blatant example of a modern-day discrimination and witch hunting.

Maria Litova did not hurt, injure, or kill anyone or anything, and yet she is treated like a criminal. Her only “crime” was to secure the balcony of her flat with a safety wire net, to safeguard the life of her pets. There were no concrete or masonry repairs done, wall tear-offs or heavy drilling. The structure of the building remained intact so this was only a minor upgrade for which she did not need a permission.

We strongly urge you to investigate the unlawful policies of Plovdiv municipality and the bizarre “reasoning” and “application of law” by the Plovdiv administrative Court, regarding Litova’s case. When a rogue Mayor and a corrupt Judge join together to viciously persecute a disabled, defenseless old lady, especially when she is innocent and poses no threat - it is likely not just a problem with a few “rotten apples”, but with the culture of the Bulgarian institutions and the judiciary. It is up to you to help no one in Bulgaria is abused at the hands of the authorities like this again.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate judicial review of Litova’s case and her exoneration.

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The Tell Bulgaria: Stop Abusing People Who Care For Animals petition to Mr. Boiko Borisov - Prime minister, Mr. Hristo Ivanov - Minister of Justice, Mr. Dimitar Tonchev - was written by Bulgaria and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.