MEPs urge Bulgaria to probe police violence against journalists at anti-government protests

By bne IntelliNews September 16, 2020

MEPs of the European Union’s working group on media have urged Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Hristo Terziyski to probe the attack on a local journalist during the anti-government protest on September 2 that turned violent, as well as on other media representatives, news outlet Dnevnik reported on September 16.

In the night of September 2, the police arrested journalist Dimiter Kenarov, even though he had a valid press card. His mother reported his arrest on Facebook. On the morning of September 3, Kenarov was released and wrote he was kicked in the head by at least two policemen while being confined and on the ground without resisting in any way.

A Danish reporter released a video showing how the police intimidated him and attempted to hide alleged unnecessary violence during arrests from his camera. He also claimed policemen attacked him, hitting his phone to scare him off. The video shows policemen running towards him then apparently hitting his phone to prevent him from filming.

“We, the members of European Parliament, are writing you to call on full, complete and independent investigation of the alleged attack of the Bulgarian police against Dimiter Kenarov,” MEPs wrote in a letter to Terziyski, quoted by Dnevnik.

MEPs also mention two other cases of journalists who were beaten or peppersprayed during the protest on September 2.

Thousands people are protesting for a third month in Bulgaria, demanding the resignations of the government and of chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev who were accused of corruption and connections to controversial politicians and businessmen.

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