Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Bulgarian Journalist Raped and Murdered after Reporting on Alleged Corruption

Bulgarian Journalist Raped and Murdered after Reporting on Alleged Corruption

Victoria Marinova, a 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist, was murdered in the town of Ruse, Buglaria on Saturday.

Her boy was found dumped in a public park near the River Danube.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station in Ruse, and presenter of two investigative programs.

The brutal killing of the Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive worldwide investigation. "Her new programme doesn't seem to offer any motive to kill her", said Tihomir Bezlov, of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Sofia. "Those responsible should be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities", he said.

"I am shocked by the horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria", Désir. said in a statement.

A portrait of slain television reporter Viktoria Marinova is placed on the Liberty Monument next to flowers and candles during a vigil in Ruse, Bulgaria, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

"The country has a bad image with regard to press freedom, but it's possible that there is no link to this case", said Svetoslav Terziev, opposition media analyst who also teaches journalism. However, Marinova recently interviewed two Romanian journalists who were investigating politicians and businessmen for alleged corruption of European Union funds.

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Mahoney says that it is too early to say whether Marinova's killing falls into that category. According to Bivol, local businessmen, politicians, and even Russian oligarchs took part in corruption schemes.

Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing, he said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "shocked by the barbaric murder", calling on Bulgaria to "employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry". In February, Ján Kuciak, a Slovakian investigative reporter, 27, and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, were shot dead in their home, 40 miles from Bratislava.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Sunday he is looking into reports that Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist for the Washington Post, was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Those responsible must be held to account'. The two worked alongside the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

On the rating of freedom of the media of the Reporters Without Borders worldwide non-profit, non-governmental organization, Bulgaria was ranked 111 and the last among the European Union countries.

At a previously scheduled meeting on October 7 of officials from the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor-General's Office, and security agencies, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov promised that investigators would solve the case.

"In the last six years, it's been an incredibly risky time to be a journalist", says Robert Mahoney the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) deputy executive director.

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