OSCE Condemns Beating of Bulgarian Journalist Ognyan Stefanov

Politics | September 26, 2008, Friday // 00:00

The Organization for Security and Cooperation officially denounced Friday the severe thrashing of the Editor-in-Chief of the Bulgarian news website Frog News Ognyan Stefanov, which took place Sunday night in Sofia.

The Organization called upon the Bulgarian authorities to take measures to prevent any such acts of violence against the freedom of speech in the future.

"I am worried by the last brutal assault against the investigative journalist Ognyan Stefanov, and by the frequent occasions of aggression of this sort against journalists in Bulgaria", reads the letter of Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE representative on media affairs to the Bulgaria Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin.

Haraszti reminds also that Georgi Stoev, author of books about the Bulgarian mafia, was murdered in Sofia in April, and that a year earlier a bomb exploded at the apartment of the Bulgarian journalist Vasil Ivanov from Nova TV.

The OSCE representative adds the perpetrators had not been revealed and charged in any of these three cases. He points out that any acts of violence against critical journalists should not be treated as ordinary crimes by the legislation because this undermined the freedom of speech, which was a basic democratic right.

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