In a statement, Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the arson of the car of Bulgarian TV journalist Genka Shikerova.
Bivol reminds that in the last 10 years, under two chief prosecutors and five interior ministers, not even one perpetrator of attacks against a number of Bulgarian journalists has been uncovered.
Bulgaria occupies the 100th place in the freedom of speech ranking of Reporters Without Borders. Attacks on journalists that remain unsolved are among the main criteria of the organization for the assessment of risks to media freedom.
Our editorial office expresses solidarity with Genka Shikerova and calls on the prosecution and the Interior Ministry to apply all possible effort to uncover the perpetrators of this odious act of intimidation.
We also urge the reopening and filing in a special accountability report with the office of the Chief Prosecutor all investigations in attacks against journalists, for which Bulgaria has been criticized by international human rights organizations!
We urge Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov to report and account every three months on the progress of these pretrial proceedings that are of exceptional public interest!
2006 Vasil Ivanov – bomb blast in front of his home
2007 Maria Nikolaeva – threatened by mobsters inside the editorial office that they will splash her with acid if she continued her investigations in illegal construction in the Strandza Nature Park
2007 Attempted murder of Asen Yordanov, attacked with a knife and metal bars in front of his home
2008 Attempted murder of Ognyan Stefanov, attacked by thugs with metal bars and hammers, leaving him crippled
2011 Bomb blast of the car of TV journalist Sasho Dikov and hatred campaign against TV journalist Mirolyuba Benatova
2012 Lidya Pavlova’s car set on fire
2013 Genka Shikerova’s car set on fire
Journalist Genka Shikerova target of second arson attack
The company car of bTV journalist Genka Shikerova was set on fire outside her home in Sofia shortly after midnight last night and investigators believe it was deliberately set. In September last year, the journalist’s private car was set on fire, and she later gave an interview to Reporters Without Borders.
“This second attack increases our fears for the safety of Genka Shikerova, a political journalist known for her uncompromising interviews,” said Lucie Morillon, head of research at the organization.
“These repeat crimes are a cause for concern and must be stopped by the police, who must do all in their power to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Shikerova, the host of the morning show Tazi sutrin (This Morning), told Nova TV she was sure the arson attack was in no way connected to her private life. She added that she had not received any threats in the weeks before the fire. Sofia police chief Ivailo Spiridonov said on bTV the attack was most probably linked to her work as a journalist.
Referring to the earlier investigation, Spiridonov said it was possible the crime was committed to order by contract criminals. Unfortunately the police investigation into the first attack was inconclusive and was closed at the end of 2013. So far neither the person who gave or the order nor the perpetrator of the attack has been identified.
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