24 Apr 2020 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 19 Mar 2020 n° 29/2020 Bulgaria

Bulgarian Newspaper Editor Slavi Angelov Severely Beaten in Attack by Masked Men in Central Sofia

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ IPI RSF
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ IPI RSF
The editor in chief of the weekly newspaper “168 Hours”, Slavi Angelov, was severely beaten by two masked men who attacked him using metal bars outside his apartment building in central Sofia on the evening of Tuesday 17 March 2020. A third man was seen filming the assault on a mobile phone. Angelov is said to be in stable condition and receiving treatment in a nearby hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Local media quoted the journalist as saying that he had seen men wearing masks in the area but had not suspected an attack because many people now wear masks as a protection against the Covid-19 virus. Angelov’s laptop and other possessions that he was carrying were not stolen. A senior official of Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said on 18 March that a police investigation is being conducted on the assumption that the attack was related to his professional work. Angelov has reported and written extensively about the underworld of organised crime. AEJ Bulgaria said in a statement that the attack has again highlighted the risks of violent attack faced by all Bulgarian journalists. It called on the authorities to conduct a swift and effective investigation to ensure that all the perpetrators and instigators of this attack are brought to justice and duly punished.
Updates
24 Apr 2020
On 23 April 2020, arrests were made in a special operation that took place in Sofia in connection with the investigation over assault of Slavi Angelov. The operation was carried out by the Sofia Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior under the supervision of the Special Prosecutor’s Office. The next day charges were brought against three persons.
State replies
Follow-ups
31 Mar 2020
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights calls for stronger commitment to increase media freedom in Bulgaria
19 Mar 2020
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media condemns brutal attack on journalist Angelov in Bulgaria, calls on authorities to investigate the crime.
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