Bulgarian broadcast journalist raped and murdered

10 October, 2018, 11:49 | Author: Orlando Hughes
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Victoria Marinova was found murdered in a park in Ruse, a town on the Danube on the country's northern border, on Saturday.

Georgy Georgiev, Ruse regional prosecutor, added: "Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing".

"All leads are being looked at" in the crime investigation including possible links to her professional activity, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said Monday.

Marinova, the third high-profile journalist to be killed in the European Union in the past year, and the fourth since the start of 2017, was a journalist known to ask tough questions.

"There is justified global skepticism about the Bulgarian state's commitment to press freedom and only a comprehensive and thorough investigation will assuage those doubts", he added.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov reassured the public in a statement, "it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator is found", citing the amount of evidence recovered by the police. Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Monday that the commission expected "a swift and thorough investigation. that will bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work".

Drew Sullivan, co-founder of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, said the European Union should launch an independent probe into the killing.

Bivol's owner Asen Yordanov stated that the murder of Marinova is a warning for other journalists. Caruana Galizia was killed in a auto bombing in October in Malta and Jan Kuciak was murdered in Slovakia in February.

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Police said she had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled. Police have said the killings were connected to Kuciak's work, and they recently arrested several people suspected of involvement, including one man authorities believe was a paid hit man.

The brutal killing of the Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive worldwide investigation.

According to the Bulgaria-based Association of European Journalists, reporters from small regional and local media are particularly subjected to pressure from local businessmen and politicians and outright threats, often leading to self-censorship.

And even some of Marinova's fellow journalists were not convinced that she was killed because of her reporting.

In the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, Bulgaria is rated 111 out of 180 countries, the lowest of any country in the EU.

Germany called Bulgarian law-enforcement authorities to carry out "a quick and comprehensive investigation" into Marinova's murder, stated Deputy spokesperson of German Foreign Ministry Christofer Burger on October 8.

He quoted Juncker as saying previously that "too many" journalists were being intimidated, attacked or murdered and "there is no democracy without a free press".

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