‘Policemen watched as bouncers attacked Swede’

Bulgarian police have launched an internal inquiry following the death of a Swede at a nightclub in the holiday resort of Nessebar on Monday.

The 24-year-old became involved in a brawl with bouncers at the Help nightclub at around 2am and died in hospital as a result of his injuries some 12 hours later.

It was later reported on Bulgarian television that two policemen present at the scene did nothing to break up the fight. Video footage taken by an eyewitness was displayed, apparently showing one of the policemen, dressed in civilian clothes, passively standing aside.

Three bouncers were arrested following the incident but the Bulgarian authorities have not yet said how the crime will be classified.

The prosecutor who was first put in charge of the case has declined to deal with it on the grounds that one of the suspects is a former police officer. No further explanation was given.

The 24-year-old Swede was visiting the holiday resort a 26-year-old friend and their girlfriends. The older man was also injured in the fight and is now under observation in hospital in the coastal town of Burgas. He is suffering from injuries to his head and body.

Sweden’s youngsters are increasingly turning to the holiday resorts along the Black Sea coastline. Sun and beaches are obvious attractions but the area, packed with clubs and pubs, is getting a reputation for its party atmosphere. A beer costs just a few kronor.

“There’s a very high party factor. And with lots of young people it unfortunately becomes quite rowdy. Alcohol is very cheap and that increases the risks,” said Kenneth Sandén, managing director at travel insurance firm Europeiska Reseförsäkringar.

But according to Sandén it is no more dangerous to travel to charter resorts in Bulgaria than to Visby on Gotland.

The 24-year-old and his companions travelled to Bulgaria with tour operator Ving . So far the company says it has not had any indications of concern among its other customers and that trips to Nessebar would continue.

“As it looks now, what happened was an isolated incident – albeit serious and tragic – but we will see what happens with the police inquiry before we take any decisions about Bulgaria as a travel destination,” said Joakim Eriksson, information officer at Ving.