Bulgaria Shocked by Brutal Rape, Murder of Journalist Viktoria Marinova

Bulgaria Shocked by Brutal Rape, Murder of Journalist Viktoria Marinova

Bulgaria Shocked by Brutal Rape, Murder of Journalist Viktoria Marinova

The Bulgarian government said it had no evidence that Marinova's murder was linked to her work. A similar observance was held in Sofia.

She was 30 years old.

After her death, prosecutors opened an investigation into GP Group, the private Bulgarian building company that Biro and Stoyanov spotlighted in their report, according to The Associated Press.

"Her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing", Georgiev said, The Telegraph reports.

Through a United Nations spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres called on "all governments to strengthen press freedom and ensure there is accountability for crimes committed against journalists".

Marinova's killing has sparked an worldwide outcry, with European governments calling for a thorough investigation into her death.

"With great pain and insurmountable grief, the TVN team is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague Viktoria Marinova and we pray for sympathy to the sorrow of her relatives and colleagues", TVN, the Bulgarian TV broadcaster where she had worked, said in a statement.

The prosecutor general, Sotir Tsatsarov, told reporters in Ruse on Monday that nothing would be ruled out, but he also said that it was unlikely the killing was connected to her work. She said the regional current affairs show, "Detector", would do similar investigations. Reporters Without Borders said they were arrested after taking pictures of evidence tied to the misuse of European Union money by Bulgarian firms.

The German government condemned the "brutal and awful murder" and urged "a fast investigation and that this terrible event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

Bivol's owner Asen Yordanov stated that the murder of Marinova is a warning for other journalists.

As The Guardian noted, Bulgaria was ranked 111 of 180 countries in this year's Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index.

Some observers believe the murder could be linked to Marinova's work.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative reporter, was killed by a auto bomb near her home vehicle in October last year and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were shot dead in February this year.

The crime has sparked worldwide outcry, with condemnation from the OSCE and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Marinova was found dead in a park in the north Bulgarian city of Ruse on October 6.

In Bulgaria, however, national TV networks gave scant air time to the case.

"All versions" regarding the murder were on the table, the vice-director of the local police, Ilian Enchev, told the press.

"It is unacceptable that in Europe journalists are getting killed again", said Sven Giegold, a German member of the Greens in the European Parliament, according to the Associated Press. "I am glad so many people are here", said Stoyka Panagonova, a mother of three, at the vigil in Ruse.

Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for reporting on government corruption.

And in February, Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist who also reported on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova.

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