Bulgarian Journalist Arrested Briefly after Mocking Nationalist Chief
Bulgarian police have arrested Wednesday morning journalist Nayo Titzin after he entered the security zone around the Parliament wearing a straitjacket and a mask of nationalist leader, Volen Siderov.
Titzin was part of the group of Bulgarians protesting for the sixth morning in a row by staging a coffee-drinking anti-government rally in front of the Parliament building in downtown Sofia.
The demonstration on Wednesday morning is the largest rally held in front of Parliament so far.
Titzin was able to enter the security zone by showing a journalist accreditation card, but was arrested later when he put on the mask. When seeing the arrest, the other demonstrators started shouting "Let him go!" and "Arrest the Real One!"
The journalist was taken to the booth at the back entrance of the Parliament and was held there for a while before being released. The people in the area greeted him with thundering applause.
He told media and demonstrators that the police questioned him and issued a citation for him for hiding his identity under a mask and a warning to observe public order. They told him he was not going to be arrested.
Titzin thanked the media and the police for the friendly and composed attitude. He explained the police acted adequately as he was inside the security zone wearing a mask.
The journalist stressed the goal of his "performance" has been reached – to have pictures and footage of the police arresting the leader of the extremist nationalist party Ataka, Volen Siderov, with a straitjacket near the Parliament entrance.
Titzin is one of most active participants in the protests, documenting the events with photographs and videos. He was wearing Siderov's mask for the second time, but he did not enter the security zone before.
Titzin demonstrated Wednesday with his two daughters, who waited for him to complete the action.
Downtown Sofia was under a true blockade with all streets leading to the Parliament sealed off by the police.
Thousands came to the rally with national flags, megaphones, whistles, and banners, shouting once again demands for the government's resignation.
Huge traffic jams have been reported. The Members of the Parliament, however, continued their session unperturbed.
The morning protest is to merge with the traditional afternoon rally, the 20th in a row, starting 6.30 pm in front of the Council of Ministers building.
The series of anti-government protests in Bulgaria was triggered by the scandalous appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS).
Although the appointment was revoked, the people went on to demand that the cabinet resign collectively over ties with oligarchs.
Protesters are also calling for Election Code amendments which will guarantee greater representation of the people in Parliament.
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