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Press freedom alert: Prominent journalist targeted

Valia Ahchieva [Union of Bulgarian Journalists]

Our distinguished contributor Valia Ahchieva was asked to stop contributing to media other than the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), although BNT has put down her weekly program. In fact, Ahchieva contributes only to

Several Bulgarian media spoke to Ahchieva on Thursday (28 February), quoting her as saying that she finds inadmissible the attempt to limit the freedom of a journalist.

Ahchieva, a household name in Bulgaria, started contributing to on 11 February, on a pro bono basis, and has already submitted three pieces of investigative journalism. She has expressed the wish to continue, despite the warnings.

On this occasion, has opened today a dedicated section “Investigative reports”, where Valia’s stories will appear.

Ahchieva risks being fired from BNT. However, she challenges in court the official warnings signed by Konstantin Kamenarov, the BNT chief. His letter is signed on 18 February, a day when he was supposed to be on sick leave.

Kamenarov is under trial for drunk driving. To escape from a court session on 18 February, he presented a medical certificate of illness. However, Kamenarov attended a meeting with press chiefs in the European Parliament on 19 February on fake news. The revelation came after BNT aired footage showing Kamenarov attending the event.

If convicted on drunk driving charges, Kamenarov risks up to 3 years of jail. He would also need to resign from BNT, as the chief of this media cannot be a person with a conviction. 

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