Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission Tries to Silence Newspapers Working on Banking Disclosures

Update: 31 Aug 2017 Resolved
Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Bulgaria Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner RSF , AEJ Alert level Level 2
02 Apr 2015 Bulgaria E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State RSF , AEJ Level 2

The Financial Supervision Commission is an administrative body established to maintain "stability and transparency on the non-banking financial sector". The Commission has distinguished itself by ordering medias to pay record fines to media outlets and news websites in 2014, such as Economedia (weekly Capital) for 80000 euros, Alpiko publishing (zovnews.bg) and Konkurent news (Konkurent newspaper). investigative news website Bivol.bg, Wikileaks' partner in the Balkans, was also fined and asked to reveal sources. The Bulgarian banking sector has been put through important "turbulences" during summer 2014. In response to a wave of panic, the Financial Supervision Commission has launched a war against the media. Prevailing itself of protecting the stability of the banking sector, the administrative authority has contributed to silence the debate on mismanagement of the banks by sanctioning with heavy fines those who were publishing "unofficial news" about financial difficulties in the sector.

Resolved On 31 August 2017, after consideration of the authorities’ response and follow-up to this alert, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

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Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

22 Jun 2015 : Report by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, following his visit to Bulgaria, from 9 to 11 February 2015. CommDH(2015)12. 22 June 2015
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