'Anonymous' Snub Bulgarian TV for Distorted Eco Rallies Coverage

Society | June 25, 2012, Monday // 12:46
Bulgaria: 'Anonymous' Snub Bulgarian TV for Distorted Eco Rallies Coverage File photo

The Anonymous hacktivist group has warned private Bulgarian TV channel bTV to offe a public apology for the "insinuations and manipulations" in their coverage of certain events, most notably, the protest against the controversial Forestry Act amendments.

The newly adopted and newly vetoed amendments to the Forestry Act significantly liberalize the statutory regime for investors planning to cut down public forests to build private sports and recreational facilities.

The legal changes triggered widespread public opposition and mass protests, both by proponents and opponents of the environmental legislation.

Bulgaria's center-right GERB government has persistently argued that the new regime would benefit the country's tourism industry, while thousands of protesters have insisted that the legislation has been adopted to benefit a number of shady oligarchs and will result in overconstruction and huge environmental damage.

bTV, which failed to cover the first of the rallies against the Forestry Act amendments, has been accused of misreporting the event under pressure from corporate interests.

"Hello, bTV. You already know who we are - we are the ones that you consciously and deliberately sabotaged and keep sabotaging by trying to stifle our protests. You did not cover our actions and events aimed at waking the people up," a member of Anonymous says in a video address posted on Youtube, inviting the management of the TV station to apologize to the nation.

"We decided to remind you of ourselves. If you do not want to do your job honestly, showing the truth as it is to the people, then we shall show it to them but you will not be quite pleased about the things they'll learn. We shall show them each and every of your manipulations, the censorship you imposed and the conspiracies of the political elite," the hacktivists caution.

"Rather than making innocent environmentalists apologize, we insist that the management of bTV should apologize to the entire nation for the censorship it imposed and for masterminding a series of machinations and insinuations during the organization of the protests against the Forestry Act, and also for the fact that it is against the free exchange of information between people and against freedom of speech," the video statement says.

"Currently, at bTV there is only one viewpoint - the viewpoint of the executive director," Anonymous say, specifying that they are not against the TV station's reporters and journalists.

However, the hackers demand an apology for "all the contortions of journalism it performed in the past year."

Anonymous recommend viewers to abstain from watching bTV and from buying products advertised on the TV channel.

The hacktivists say that the step is a reaction to the censorship obstructing freedom of speech and thought "to service personal, corporate and political interests"

The statement concludes with: "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."

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Tags: anonymous, Forestry Act, environmentalists, bTV, freedom of speech
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