ACF stands in solidarity with the position of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ) and strongly condemns the actions of the authorities against the journalist Maria Tsentsarova.
For the second time, Maria Tsentsarova has been summoned for questioning by the structures of the Ministry of Interior because of her investigation, which revealed that while Political Party “Vuzrazhdane” propagandized against vaccination and the measures to curb the pandemic, MPs from the party were vaccinated.
The purpose of the interrogations was for Tsentsarova to reveal her sources of information for this investigation.
According to the AEJ, the prosecutor’s office has already opened pre-trial proceedings in the case.
The latest information is particularly disturbing given the public admissions of a representative of the leadership of the state prosecution that he introduced bills through members of the Vuzrazhdane Party.
Proceedings are also underway in the case before the Data Protection Commission, which also aims to identify and pursue the sources of the investigation.
As the AEJ recalls, according to an opinion of the Commission on Journalistic Ethics on 24 May 2015:
– Journalists have not only the right but also the obligation to protect their sources when they are confidential.
– The right to protect sources may be subject to restriction, the requirements of legality, proportionality, and necessity in a democratic society, after a review by an independent and impartial tribunal.
The ACF joins AEJ in demanding that the authorities immediately cease pressure on journalist Maria Tsentsarova and that her employer provide adequate and complete protection.
The entire position of the AEJ can be read here.