ARTICLE 19 calls on the Bulgarian authorities to ensure an impartial, prompt and thorough investigation into the murder of journalist Victoria Marinova. The TV host’s body was found on 6 October in the northern Bulgarian town of Ruse. According to media reports Marinova was brutally beaten and raped before being killed.
As a priority the investigation must establish whether there was connection between the perpetrator’s motive and Marinova’s journalistic work, which reportedly focused most recently on a corruption case regarding financial manipulations in EU tenders. The authorities must bring the perpetrators — and those who may have ordered her murder accountable — to justice. Marinova was a local journalist, based in Ruse, where she worked as a TV host and administrative director of the regional TVN channel.
“Journalists in the European Union are facing and increasingly hostile environment” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Director of Programmes at ARTICLE 19. “Following the murder of Daphne Caruna Galizia in October 2017 and Jan Kuciak in February 2018, this is the third killing of an investigative journalist in Europe in less than a year.
“There can be no louder warning to the EU and its members of the need to protect journalists, including through taking protective measures to prevent such attacks. The eyes of Europe are now upon Bulgaria to ensure a full, thorough, and speedy investigation and to bring those responsible to justice.”
Press freedom, as a core human rights value, must be grounded in the safety of journalists, and justice for crimes against them. Impunity for attacks against journalists has a chilling effect on freedom of expression, discouraging other journalists from reporting on similar issues. Read ARTICLE 19’s 2017 report for more information on States’ obligations to protect journalists.
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