09 Jul 2018 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 28 Jul 2017 n° 83/2017 Bulgaria
Bulgarian TV Presenter Assaulted and Injured in Central Sofia
On 25 July 2017, Ivo Nikodimov, a presenter for Bulgarian National Television, was attacked in broad daylight by three unknown assailants in Borisova Gradina park in central Sofia. The three men, thought to be in their 20s, beat him, breaking his nose and causing other facial injuries before escaping from the scene. The journalist underwent surgery for his broken nose in a nearby hospital. Later he reported that the attackers did not reply when he demanded to know why they were attacking him. None of his belongings were taken. Mr Nikodimov is a nationally-known public figure and an experienced reporter on criminal and legal affairs, who has received threats in the past because of his work. So far investigators have not found evidence linking this attack to the journalist’s work, but a senior Interior Ministry official characterised the assault as a hate crime. Bulgaria’s media regulator, the Council of Electronic Media, expressed alarm at the attack on a prominent journalist, saying that acts of violence against well-known figures are aimed at instilling fear. Bulgarian National TV stated that aggression against journalists is tantamount to an attack on free expression and called for the culprits to be found and punished. One day before the attack on Ivo Nikodimov two notaries suffered a similar assault in the same area. The authorities say investigations are ongoing into the incidents.
09 Jul 2018: On 9 July 2018, considering that the investigation carried out by the authorities confirmed that the attack against Ivo Nikodimov was not linked to his professional activities, and taking also into account the commitment of the authorities to continue the process of identification of the perpetrators, as expressed in the Bulgarian authorities’ reply to this alert, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ‘resolved’, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
- Bulgarian National Television report: "Three Men Attacked BNT Journalist Ivo Nikodimov in Center of Sofia"
- Sofia Globe report: "200 people questioned, condemnatory statements after assault of Bulgarian National Television journalist"
- AEJ Bulgaria statement: "AEJ-Bulgaria Condemns the Attack Against TV Journalist Ivo Nikodimov"
28 Jun 2018
Reply from the Government of Bulgaria