Council of Europe: Bulgarian Authorities to Investigate Attacks on Journalists and Punish Police Officers
"I am worried by the numerous reports of police violence against journalists at the demonstrations in Sofia". This is stated by Dunya Mijatovic, Commissioner of the Council of Europe on Human Rights. "It is reported that several journalists were beaten and gassed in the clashes in Sofia between police officers and demonstrators. One journalist was reportedly detained for hours and others had their professional equipment damaged.” , her statement reads.
"Violence against journalists, especially by government agents, is contrary to the obligation of states to maintain press freedom and protect the safety of journalists," Miyautovic said. "Therefore, I call on the Bulgarian authorities to effectively investigate all recorded cases of attacks against journalists and punish the police officers responsible for this unacceptable behavior. There is also an urgent need to give clear instructions to police officers to respect press freedom and allow journalists and media professionals to safely cover demonstrations," she urged.
After 10 p.m., clashes broke out in the square in front of the new National Assembly building, in the area of the triangle of power. Young, fan-looking people started bombing the cops, while the peaceful protesters who took part in the traditional rally against power had already withdrawn. Shortly after midnight, law enforcement cleared the square. Around 3.00 am the blockades of the key intersections in the capital – the Eagle Bridge and the Rectorate were lifted. This happened in a peaceful way, the MoI clarified.
It was the 56th day of protests across the country. Citizens are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev and the holding of fair parliamentary elections.