Gone now are the barracks, the sadistic guards and the barbed wire. Just one remaining watchtower and a plaque show that this marshy nature reserve on a river island in Bulgaria was once a place of misery.
Braving the Mediterranean may be the main route for refugees into Europe, but large numbers are also trying their luck via a treacherous land journey through Turkey into Bulgaria, the EU's poorest country.
A Bulgarian court ruled Tuesday that a Frenchman who admits knowing the Charlie Hebdo attackers but denies being an Islamic extremist could be extradited to France following an arrest warrant issued by Paris.
A Frenchman arrested in Bulgaria on January 1 trying to cross into Turkey had links to one of the two brothers who carried out the Islamist attacks in Paris last week, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Bulgaria looked set Monday for more political uncertainty after strongman ex-premier Boyko Borisov fell short of a majority in elections for the troubled country's third government in less than two years.
Bulgarian strongman Boyko Borisov said Sunday he would try to form a government and avoid national "bankruptcy" after his right-wing party came first in elections but fell well short of a majority.
Two people drowned and 900 were evacuated from their homes as flooding caused by torrential rains hit northwestern Bulgaria, the latest in a string of such disasters since June, the interior ministry said on Sunday.
Bulgaria's Socialists-backed Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski handed in the resignation of his cabinet Wednesday ahead of snap elections that will seek to end months of political turmoil in the European Union's poorest country.
On the eve of a European vote, the Kremlin's closest EU-ally Bulgaria is torn between the bloc that provides it with vital investment or Russia, its deeply influential "big brother" and gas supplier.