Monday, 10 December, 2018

Viktoria Marinova dead: Bulgarian journalist 'raped and murdered' after European Union corruption

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia
Herman Weaver | 09 October, 2018, 08:42

A similar observance was held in Sofia.

"I am shocked by the horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria", Désir. said in a statement.

The thirty-year-old's body was found in a park on Saturday, Georgiev said. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said that it's imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this frightful event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

She was discovered near a pedestrian alley in an area with heavy vegetation, according to Bulgarian state media, and initial investigations indicate her cause of death was blows to the head and suffocation.

Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for this reporting.

Well-known TV journalist Viktoria Marinova has been murdered in Bulgaria.

The German government also sharply condemned the slaying, with the Foreign Ministry saying it was imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this awful event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

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".

In October in Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who investigated corruption, was killed in a vehicle bombing.

Bulgaria was ranked 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index this year, lower than any other European Union member.

It is not known if Marinova's murder is linked to her journalist work. He tweeted: "Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption".

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Condolences poured in on social media for Marinova, who leaves behind a small child.

Some observers believe there could be a link between the murder and Marinova's work.

The crime has sparked worldwide outcry, with the OSCE's media freedom representative, Harlem Desir, calling for "a full and thorough investigation". She hosted the recently-launched 'Detector' program, and its last episode covered the investigation by Bivol website, claiming to expose a corruption scheme inside EU-funded projects.

Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov said he had received credible information his journalists were in danger of being assaulted because of the investigation. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

Marinova's death was quickly condemned by European leaders.

A portrait of slain Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova during in a candle-light vigil in the city of Rousse.

In Bulgaria, however, the national TV networks only dedicated a few minutes of air time to the case.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an global press freedom organization, has written to the Bulgarian Prime Minister, and top European Union leaders, expressing concern that Bulgarian journalists investigating a huge corruption case have been harassed, warning they are at risk of retaliation for their reporting.

Marinov told reporters on Monday in Ruse, Bulgaria's main river port: 'We are working on all possible motives and we do not exclude any'.

He says Dujarric said Guterres is paying "very close attention" to the trend and has raised the issue of violence against journalists with United Nations member states, both privately and publicly.

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