Police are pursuing several lines of inquiry in connection with the severe assault of Bulgarian investigative journalist Slavi Angelov, but believe it was most likely connected with his work.
Masked men armed with metal bars and knives attacked Angelov, Editor-in-Chief of weeky 168 Chassa, outside his central Sofia home late at night on March 17. Two men carried out the attack and a third filmed it.
Angelov is being treated in Tsaritsa Joanna Hospital in Sofia. He has stab wounds, a broken leg and facial bruising. His condition is stable and his life is not in danger.
Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivailo Ivanov said in a March 18 television interview: “The beating is related to his work, which is unacceptable”.
A statement on the Interior Ministry website quoted Ivanov as saying that he was sure that police efforts would lead to the attackers being identified and arrested. Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated.
On March 18, the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria condemned the attack on Angelov.
“The attack on Slavi Angelov is not only a threat to him, but to all journalists in Bulgaria.”
The association called for a prompt and effective investigation.
It said that it had informed its international partners and the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists about the incident “which is yet further proof of how dangerous the profession of journalist can be.”