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Advocates Europe was registered in Gurnsey, UK in 2001 and re-registered in Bulgaria in 2009. It has over 400 members with contacts in 35 countries around Europe. AE focuses mainly on combating corruption and human trafficking, but also on religious freedom, pro-life, and family issues.
BULGARIA: We celebrated a major victory in January 2010 when the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of 800 plaintiffs in the six-year litigation against the State of Bulgaria seeking the return of 107 church properties illegally confiscated by police in 2004. But our colleague, Latcho Popov, now faces major new hurdles in proving damages because the State of Bulgaria is stonewalling access to the 107 buildings that hold the files with the relevant documents needed to prove the damages suffered by his clients.
ROMANIA: Significant property rights involving a Christian university are at issue. Advocates Europe has helped colleagues in Romania seeking court resolution of a dispute regarding property purchased by the school after communism fell in 1989. Later the State gave it to the original owners who had lost the property when the communists confiscated it.
SWEDEN: Advocates in Sweden, working alongside Virginia-based Home Schooling Legal Defense Association, are helping a family whose 7-year old home-schooled son was whisked off an airplane in July 2009 by Swedish police minutes before departure to India, the mother’s birthplace. Parental rights have been grossly abused in this case.
ALBANIA: AI’s Board member, Roger Sherrard, returned to Tirana for his 40th visit since 1992 as he continues to work with Albanian and European leaders on a model program on the rule of law and integrity in the courts, government, business and other institutions.
KOSOVO: On June 3, 2010 church buildings in Pristine, Kosovo, were vandalized. Advocates Europe appealed to Kosovo’s authorities to take action against the vandals.
TURKEY: In April 2010, in meetings once again led by Advocates Europe’s President, Latcho Popov, 32 delegates from 22 nations convened in Istanbul, Turkey, for the 7th European Religious Liberty Forum focusing on major persecution issues facing believers in Europe, especially in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Turkey.
ITALY: An Italian court ordered the removal of all religious symbols, such as crucifixes, from public school buildings. The case has been appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) where colleagues from ten nations within Advocates Europe have joined the Italian appeal. ECHR decisions generally bind all 53 European nations.