Reporters Without Borders Joined Appeal to Reinstate Emblematic Bulgarian Journalist at State Radio

The Paris-based international human rights organization Reporters Without Borders joined the appeal the appeal of journalists, academics and public figures  who insists that emblematic journalist Lily Marinkova be reinstated as host of the political talk show Sunday 150 of the State-owned Bulgarian National Radio (BNR)

The organization sent an explicit letter of support after Bivol provided information on this outrageous case.

Below are the original protest declarations and an updated list of the public figures who have signed it.

Emblematic Bulgarian Journalist Must Be Reinstated at State Radio

On June 6, the newly-elected Director General of the State-owned Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) fired longtime journalist, host of the political talk show Sunday 150 and director of the BNR program “Horizon”, Lily Marinkova, justly considered to be one of the pillars of Bulgarian radio journalism. On this occasion, a group of journalists, public figures and academics sent to the BNR Director General, Alexander Velev, and to the media a protest declaration. Here is its full text:

“As soon as he took office, the new Director General Alexander Velev proceeded with an absurd action – depriving the national broadcaster and its audience by one of the emblematic names in BNR. The dismissal of journalist Lily Marinkova, host of the only political talk show Sunday 150, is absolutely unacceptable for the majority of Bulgarian journalists! The termination of her employment contract under Article 328, paragraph 2 of the Labor Code without prior notice indicates a total violation of her rights. The phrase “you can register at the labor bureau tomorrow” is striking evidence of the treatment of journalists as just a tool. This action reflects a harsh administrative style.

Mr. Velev, please do not underestimate our colleagues! It is too difficult to retain voices of Lily Marinkova’s high-caliber. Politicians from all parliamentary represented and all other political parties, leaders of trade unions, public figures, the entire public elite have stood before her microphone. Lily is the living history of our painful transition from Communism to a meaningful and adequate civil society. Her unique style and incomparable approach are a true capital of our national radio. Her journalism created a school, an example to follow. Her track record and approval rating are not affected by any situation. Her professionalism would be an honor for any European media. The scandal with her dismissal will have a strong eco in the international journalistic circles where such first-rate radio journalists as Lily Marinkova are appreciated and protected, not destroyed.

We demand the immediate reinstatement of Lily Marinkova as host of Sunday 150! You owe it not only to us, her colleagues, but also to the audience that she shaped during the difficult years after the fall of Communism. This dismissal looks like a purge in the radio in a pre-election situation, generating fear among journalists, instead of encouraging professionalism!”

List of people who signed the protest declaration:

Yuliana Metodieva – human rights site Marginaliya;

Atanas Tchobanov – site for investigative Journalism Bivol;

Assen Yordanov – Managing Board of the Association “Free Speech”;

Polina Paunova – journalist, Mediapool;

Neri Terzieva – journalist;

Prof. Anna Krasteva – lecturer at New Bulgarian University;

Emil Cohen – Marginaliya;

Marin Bodakov – publicist, professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Sofia University;

Mihail Ivanov – physicist, politician;

Emi Baruh – journalist;

Dimitar Stoyanov – investigative journalist Bivol;

Zhana Popova – lecturer, media critic;

Professor Snezhana Popova – lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Sofia University;

Assistant Professor Mariya Neykova lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Sofia University;

Nicoleta Daskalova – media expert, Foundation “Media Democracy”;

Professor Maya Grekova – sociologist, Sofia University;

Deyan Kjuranov – political scientist, Center for Liberal Strategies;

Antoineta Nenkova – journalist, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee;

Victor Lilov – publisher;

Lea Cohen – writer, publicist;

Tatiana Wacksberg – journalist, Deutsche Welle;

Petya Vladimirova – journalist, Dnevnik;

Ivan Kulekov – writer

Professor Evgeniya Ivanova – writer, lecturer at New Bulgarian University;

Nina Alexandrova – journalist, Darik radio;

Petya Kabakchieva – sociologist, professor at Sofia University;

Zornitza Gyurova – journalist, lecturer;

Professor Antonina Zhelyazkova – historian, lecturer;

Denitsa Kyuranova  – ethnologist;

Zhivko Georgiev – sociologist;

Vessela Tontcheva – architect;

Iglika Spasovska – physicist;

Emil Sardarev – architect;

Lilyana Aleksandrieva – anthropologist;

Svetla Panova – historian;

Professor Filip Panayotov – journalist;

Professor Nadya Danova;

Reporters Without Borders, Paris;



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