In 2007, Jock Palfreeman was an Australian national backpacking through Europe. In Sofia, Jock witnessed a gang of nazi hooligans attacking two Roma boys and stepped in to defend the two. Jock was quickly forced to defend himself and survived the attack, but one of the nazis did not and Jock was charged with his murder. In the sham trial that followed (where the state witheld video evidence that would have proven his claims of self-defence and exonerated him., Jock was wrongly convicted of the crime and sentenced 20 years in jail.
While unjustly imprisoned, Jock continued to maintain his innocence. He also learned Bulgarian and founded the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Assocation, the country’s first human rights advocacy for prisoners.
In 2019, Jock was suddenly released from prison after serving 12 years. The Bulgarian authorities seized his passport and refused to let him leave the country, then subjected him to a court appeal of his release. Jock beat that unconstitutional attempt to re-convict him on charges the evidence shows he was innocent of.
Not content to admit defeat, the Bulgarian authorities are now trying to expel and ban him from not just Bulgaria, but the EU altogether, based on Jock’s 2009 sham murder conviction. Once again, Jock is forced to defend himself – this time in an EU court. We stood with Jock while he served his prison sentence; we helped him get back on his feet when he was released; and now the Defence Fund is helping him hire the best legal defence team available to fight the expulsion attempt.