Analysis 08 Dec 17

Threats to Journalists Expose Bulgarian Media’s Growing Ills

A series of attacks on – and threats to – independent-minded reporters highlights the perils facing investigative journalists in today’s Bulgaria. 

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
Photo: Pixabay

Maria Dimitrova, an editor-in-chief of Zovnews, a local newspaper in Vratza, northwest of Bulgaria, was attending a family gathering at the end of October when she started receiving threats over the phone and on Facebook.

The messages came from a well-known figure from the Vratza underground who threatened the journalist with sexual abuse and warned that she would “suffer in some way”.

Her publisher, Georgi Ezekiev, also received threats. “Then we got a warning about preparations for the murder of our publisher. I was shocked,” Dimitrova told BIRN.

A few months earlier, she had helped the Bulgarian investigative website Bivol with a story that had revealed an organized criminal group active in Vratza involved in racketeering, drug trafficking and a wide range of other offences. 

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