Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Bulgaria

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Bulgaria, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c56797c.html [accessed 22 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

On February 9, two unidentified men threatened Politika reporter Mariya Nikolaeva in the newsroom of the Sofia-based weekly. The men warned her not to do follow-up reporting on a piece that alleged improper local government involvement in real estate developments in Strandzha, a mountainous region in the southeast. "You know what happens to female journalists who know a lot: They have acid splashed on them," one of the men told Nikolaeva – an apparent reference to a 1998 acid attack in which Trud crime reporter Anna Zarkova lost her left eye. Despite the threat, Nikolaeva wrote a follow-up story for Politika's February 16 edition. The issue never reached readers in Strandzha: Unknown people bought out the entire regional allotment from the paper's local distributor in the city of Burgas.

On February 23, about 100 people led by Ataka party leader Volen Siderov stormed the offices of the newspapers 24 Chasa and 168 Chasa in the capital, Sofia. Siderov was angered by the publication of a financial document that allegedly showed Ataka had received financing from another party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, according to news reports. Nikolai Penchev, editor-in-chief of 168 Chasa, told the Bulgarian press that Ataka party member Kostadin Kostov had threatened him. "We will extract your liver," Penchev quoted the party member as saying. Editor-in-Chief Venelina Gocheva of 24 Chasa told local reporters that she had assigned security to several of her reporters. Siderov denied he had stormed the building and said he had a right to contest "slanders," the news Web site Mediapool reported.

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