Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bobi Tsankov gunned down in central Sofia

The Bulgarian radio journalist Bobi Tsankov, who has been covering the Bulgarian mafia was shot down in central Sofia today, media is reporting.

The fact that journalist can be gunned down, in the center of the city in the middle of day, speaks very bad about the freedom of press in Bulgaria. What makes the matter even worse is that this is the third fourth similar case since I personally took an interest in Bulgarian affairs (I moved to Bulgaria in December 2007). Three of them were journalists, one was a writer.

In today's Bulgaria, journalists are not risking their lives when they write about politics, but they do that when they write about organized crime. Which make the matter even more complicated. Organized crime is a strong force beyond any democratic control. As society fails to come to grips with that, the press is not free, no matter what the constitution says.

The Borisov government have carried out some widely talked about actions against criminal gangs, but as long as journalists are not safe, they need to prove what they can do. I hope that the people who were involved in the murder of Bobi Tsankov will be caught and judged. As long as they are free, Bulgaria has very deep problems.

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