Bulgarian PM Urged to Protect Journalist Safety

The International Press Institute (IPI) today joined five other international press freedom organizations in urging Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to ensure the physical safety of investigative journalists working in their country.

The organizations that signed the letter are European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Index on Censorship, International Press Institute (IPI), OBC Transeuropa (OBCT), Ossigeno per l’Informazione, South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO).

In it, they express their concerns about "the treatment of a team of journalists investigating corruption in Bulgaria, and to urge you to ensure their safety"

The letter follows the arrest of journalists working for the Bulgarian investigative journalism website Bivol and the Romanian RISE Project journalist earlier this month. The journalists were attempting to prevent and document the destruction of evidence when they were detained by the local police.

The letter ends with a demand for the Bulgarian government to ensure that the journalists will continue their work in safety:

"We strongly urge your government, in line with Bulgaria’s international human rights obligations, to ensure that the reporters investigating this case can continue their work free from any intimidation or threat and to guarantee their physical safety as well as that of all journalists in Bulgaria. We also urge you to make clear that authorities themselves should be investigating the alleged wrongdoing uncovered by Bivol and Rise Project instead of harassing the journalists, who have performed a valuable public service."

Only a week after this incident - a reporter from the TV show "Gospodari Na Efira" was beaten by three people for his investigation into a warehouse selling products which have expired. 

This happens after the result of the global survey for media freedom published by Reporters without Borders, put Bulgaria on the 111th place for 2018. 

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Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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