Culture

European Leaders Demand Investigation Of Slain Bulgarian Journalist

European Leaders Demand Investigation Of Slain Bulgarian Journalist”

Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Monday that the commission expected "a swift and thorough investigation. that will bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work".

On Tuesday, police in Ruse arrested a Romanian citizen in connection with the murder, but later released him without charge due to a lack of concrete evidence.

Marinova's death also drew global calls for a rapid and resolute action, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging governments to ensure "accountability" for crimes against journalists such as the Bulgarian journalist's "grisly murder and rape".

A woman holds a candle next to a portrait of slain journalist Viktoria Marinova during a vigil at the Monument of Liberty in Ruse, Bulgaria, on Monday.

It remains unclear whether Marinova was killed as a result of her work.

Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, said attacks on journalists erode fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and press.

"At this stage, we do not believe that the murder is linked" to Marinova's work.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said investigators had found DNA evidence on the clothes and body of Viktoria Marinova, who was raped and killed on Saturday in the northern town of Ruse.

She was the director of TVN, a TV station in Ruse, and an anchor of two investigative programs.

Her final show on September 30 was a program about Attila Biro, an investigative journalist with the Rise Project Romania, and Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bulgarian investigative site Bivol.bg.

But that assertion was contradicted by Asen Yordanov, the owner of the investigative website, bivol.bg, who told AFP that he had received information that his reporters were in danger of being assaulted. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning". She is the third journalist to have been murdered in the European Union in the past year.

Marinova's killing was widely-condemned on Twitter by fellow journalists and watchdog groups.

Bulgaria is regarded as a laggard in the European Union in matters of press freedom, ranking 111th out of a total 180 in this area, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Bulgarian police, however, said they are considering all possible scenarios and examining possible links to both her personal and professional life.



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