The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, condemned today the brutal attack on Bulgarian journalist Slavi Angelov, editor of the weekly newspaper and related website “168 chasa”, in Sofia.
“I strongly condemn the violent attack today against Slavi Angelov in Sofia,” said Désir. “This is an unacceptable act of intimidation against the journalist, which could have ended in his death. Angelov is known for his investigative reporting on political and environmental corruption issues. Such an attack against the press cannot be tolerated. I will closely follow the investigation opened by the authorities. I urge them to swiftly identify and bring those responsible to justice.”
Three masked individuals attacked Angelov last night near his home in the centre of Sofia. They beat him with iron rods until he lost consciousness. He was immediately hospitalized and is now conscious. His condition remains serious but stable with a broken leg from the attack. No valuables were stolen. One of the three individuals filmed the attack.
According to the authorities, the attack is probably linked to his work. The police took swift action to investigate the crime.
The Representative noted that such brutal and bold attacks, if left unpunished, may create an atmosphere of fear within the media community. This incident comes amid the backdrop of Bulgaria sliding down in media freedom indices.