May 19. 2024. 12:30

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Bulgarian president’s office accused of pressuring journalists

The attempt to interfere in the work of the media by the presidential press secretary Kiril Atanasov was registered as a threat by the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which has registered 94 cases of violations of press and media freedom in Bulgaria.

Going against a previous parliamentary decision, Radev spoke out against Bulgaria providing military aid to Ukraine at the European Council meeting on 23-24 March despite EU leaders all pleading to unanimously pledge.

On 24 March, Nikolova reported on the decisions of EU leaders regarding aid to Ukraine, where she noted the discrepancy between what Radev tells the media and the position of European leaders.

“I also told this to the editorial staff of the media, to whom I also pointed out the incorrect suggestions. Nikolova’s claims that I am in collusion with journalists and that I arrange them so that they cannot ask uncomfortable questions are in gross contradiction to the truth and are morally reprehensible. Staged scandals only serve disinformation. The presidential institution cannot accept a misleading public interpretation of events, regardless of what this is due to, and will continue to alert the media when it sees a discrepancy between the media coverage and the facts,” he added.

Problems with media freedom in Bulgaria were also noted in the latest report of the US State Department on human rights and in Amnesty International’s latest report published Tuesday.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started, Radev has publicly professed his pro-Russian views in Bulgaria. In recent months, the former minister also threatened to veto EU sanctions against Russia and emphasised that annexed Crimea belongs to Russia, ECPMF said.

Because of Nikolova’s case, the International Coalition for Women in Journalism called on Bulgarian institutions to stop intimidating journalists.

(Krassen Nikolov |