The Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria condemns the brutal assault on Slavi Angelov, an investigative journalist and Editor-in-Chief of 168 chasa weekly. He was attacked in front of his house in central Sofia on Tuesday evening.
According to Angelov, the attackers were two. They beat him up with metal sticks while a third one was filming the attack.
All the facts available at the current moment lead to the conclusion that the assault has been ordered and documented as an evidence to the initiator. The main version of the police also is that the accident is related to Angelov’s job.
AEJ-Bulgaria calls for a swift and thorough investigation. The authorities must identify and bring to justice both the perpetrators and the one who have ordered the gruesome attack.
Physical attacks on journalists in Bulgaria are not that common but when they occur most of those cases remain unsolved.
We have already alerted our international partners and the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists for the accident, which comes as another proof of the dangers journalists face nowadays.
The assault on Slavi Angelov is not only an attack on his physical safety but also an attack against press freedom in Bulgaria – a country which has steadily occupied the bottom position among all EU member states in the Reporters without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. It marks a continuous trend of deterioration of press freedom in Bulgaria, where journalists are subjected to various forms of pressure and intimidation.