According to Georgi Serbezov, the refusals based on absurd grounds are increasing and the administration is going around the APIA

Galina Konstantinova, AIP coordinator in the region of Plovdiv

At the end of 2011, a group of activists from Plovdiv established the NGO Citizen Control – Animal Defence with a chairperson Georgi Serbezov. Their main goal is the protection of animals and the main problem of concern is the treatment of stray cats and dogs. The activists believe that the problem stems from the inaction of the municipalities and the government control bodies. However, such inaction equals to a breach of law since the Law for the Protection of Animals has been effective for three years already.

Serbezov, who has an engineering degree, actively and consistently files requests for access to information determined that this is the intelligent and legal way to push the institutions to do their work and to implement the laws. 80 percent of the requests are related to the protection of animals, but the engineer and his friends are willing to fight for every cause for the public good.


The most recent requests Serbezov has filed to the mayors of Pleven and Smolyan, and to the Minister of Agriculture and Food with regard to the municipal programs for the management of stray dogs population and the reports on their implementation – both required under the Law for the Protection of Animals. The first has provided full access. The second has denied the information and the NGO appealed the refusal before the court. The Minister has refused information about the number of mayors who submitted their reports for the implementation of the Law for the Protection of Animals. The cases are scheduled for hearing in 2012.


Serbezov shares his bitter experience of appealing the silent refusal of the former mayor of Plovdiv. The surprise came during the hearing when the requestor learnt that the refusal was not actually silent. There had been a decision issued by the mayor, only that the requestor was not informed about that. In such cases, if the appellant did not know how to claim the continuation of the litigation against the explicit refusal, the proceedings come to an end. This is one of the tricks used by the administration to turn requestors down, according to Serbezov. Another way to “sanction” active requestors is to assign them the court fees and start forced collection without a request for voluntary payment thus increasing the due amount more than twice – such practice also experienced by Serbezov.


AIP recognized Georgi Serbezov with an Honorary Diploma at the 2011 Right to Know Day Awards Ceremony for his persistency and consistency in searching information of public interest.

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