The Romanian yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru was arrested in France on February 26 2016, in violation of his protection as a religious refugee in Sweden.
Following a history, spanning decades, of persecution in Romania for his spiritual beliefs, Gregorian Bivolaru, was convicted in what clearly seems to be an unjust manner, within a controversial and prejudiced court case, in Romania, where there appeared noticeable violations of human rights, not only of Mr Bivolaru but also of members of M.I.S.A yoga school. In 2005, Mr Bivolaru was granted political asylum in Sweden.
This case has drawn international attention particularly due to the controversies raised by the lack of coherence between the actions of Romania and the International Protection offered by the European Union and marked by the Geneva Convention, for the Human Rights of Mr Bivolaru.
There is not only recent problems occurring. In the last few years, attempts by the Romanian Justice system and media to denounce the yoga school and its founder Mr Bivolaru, have led to the compiling of reports by various Human Rights NGOs and have drawn attention at an International Level, particularly from the EU commission to OSCE/ODIHR and has been highlighted at the European Parliament.
It seems that the encroachment of Human Rights has reached a peak in the current stages of this long standing denigrating process. However, due to the obvious prejudices and discriminatory aspects to this case, it has drawn the attention of many NGOs, who are currently offering their support to this case.
Soteria International have written a Letter of Concern addressed to the European authorities in charge of Human Rights, for which many NGOs have offered their support. Please see below.
To the First Vice-President of the European Commission,
in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and
Charter of Fundamental Rights, Frans Timmermans,
Letter of concern
In concern of the fundamental rights of the refugee
Magnus Aurolsson, formerly named Gregorian Bivolaru
We are deeply concerned that the fundamental rights of the religious refugee Gregorian Bivolaru are today not secure within the EU judicial collaboration.
Last month European police and media seem to continue the same persecution based upon religious discrimination, for which Gregorian Bivolaru was granted the status of political asylum By the Supreme Court of Sweden in 2006.
the Geneva Convention has priority before any European judicial collaboration;
the refugee was protected within the EU when Romania became a EU member state in 2007;
the Romanian issued European Arrest Warrant is a direct continuation of the Romanian persecutions that led to the asylum;
the Romanian issued European Arrest Warrant contains erroneous information and does not reflect the court decision;
the Europol publication of the refugee’s name on their “Europe’s Most Wanted Fugitive’s” list 29th January 2016 violates the Geneva Convention and directly caused the apprehension of the refugee on 26th February 2016 in Paris, France;
the Romanian ENFAST police task force deliberately misled Europol in order to have the refugee’s name on Europol’s “EU’s Most Wanted Fugitive’s” list;
the Swedish Supreme Court decision points out how media’s biased and incriminating coverage played an important role in breeching the refugee’s fundamental rights;
the refugee willingly participated to any lawful police investigation and fair trial and is not of any public danger.
We hereby urge
the competent French authorities to clarify that the apprehension of the refugee reflects the persecution that was tried by the Swedish Supreme Court, and immediately release the refugee;
the Romanian government to urgently recognize the refugee status of Gregorian Bivolaru;
the competent authorities to investigate who is accountable for the continued persecution of Gregorian Bivolaru within the EU;
Europol to be held accountable for publishing the refugee’s name as such and the erroneous information that appears on Europol’s “Europe’s Most Wanted Fugitive’s” list;
Europol and ENFAST to be held accountable for the apprehension of the refugee, violating the Geneva Convention;
Romanian authorities to be held accountable for the misuse of the European Arrest Warrant in this refugee’s case, and specifically for it containing erroneous information;
competent authorities in all EU member states to secure that media does not continue the human rights violations of the refugee, pointed out in the Swedish Supreme Court decision;
French authorities to release the refugee from detention, and for the refugee to be free during the continued French investigation.
Sincerely yours, 14 March 2016, Brussels
Czech Helsinki Committee for Human Rights- Czeck Republic
Soteria International – Human Rights - Denmark
European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB) – Italy
League of anti-defamation of yoga and spiritual movements (LAYMS) - Romania
Sandhedsseminar (Truth Seminar) - Denmark
Logos Media- Denmark
Angelika Muha Teaching Assistant: Department of Ethics and Spirituality - South Africa
Marina Jakobsen - Ph.D. Philosophy - Copenhagen, Denmark
Gabriel Andreescu – Profesor: Department of Political Science in Bucharest, human rights activist and political scientist, journalist. Author of the books: MISA. The Scrutiny of the Repression [Polirom, 2013]; Yoga Repression during 80s [Polirom, 2008] - Romania
Natha Yoga Centre- Denmark
Traditionelles Yoga Munchen- Munich, Germany
Ananda Yogacentrum - Berchem, Belgium
Spiritual school Rezonance (Duchovni skola Resonance, z. s) - Czech Republic
US Yoga Academy - Las Vegas
Maha Siddha Australia Yoga and Tantra School – Australia
Ogyen Kunzang Chöling - Belgium
Foreningen Concordia Esoteria- Denmark
Yoga School Shambala- Bosnia
Prema Fonden and Divine Life Solutions- Denmark
Natha Yogacenter – Stockholm, Sweden
Tara Yoga Centre – Oxford, UK
Natha Jooga Ja Tantrakoulu - Finland
ATMAN Yoga Association – Hungary
Angels - Romania
Atman Online Yoga Academy
Deutschen Akademie für traditionelles Yoga e.V.- Germany
Yoga Integral Genève – Geneva, Italy
Yoga Leben e.V.- Germany
Yoga and Meditation Centre – South Africa
Natha Escola de Yoga e Tantra - Portugal
Maha Vidya Yoga – Verein- Vienna, Austria
Natha Yoga - Iceland
Tara Yoga Centre –London, UK