Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Support for Genka Shikerova

Photo: BTV
Genka Shekerova was one of the most interesting and inspiring participants in my PhD research back in 2010 when I performed participant observation in BTV's newsroom. She was also the only one who agreeed to be cited for the purposes of my research with her name, as her work identifies her perfectly: she is the author of The Concrete Gardens documentary, the best and most acurate dissection of the rotten processes that turned Sunny Beach from a green result to a jungle of concrete, lawlessness and crime. I had an opportunity to express support to Genka about two weeks ago, when she and her co-host of BTV's morning show were pressurized by Lutvi Mestan, the chair of ruling coalition member DPS - which stands for Movement of Rights and Freedoms in Bulgaria.

Less then a week later I received another alarming information about Genka. The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), expressed concern about a reported attack on a vehicle owned by Genka Shikerova. Shikerova’s car was set on fire on Monday evening in what is suspected to have been arson. Shikerova told viewers of her show on Tuesday morning that the vehicle was parked in front of her home in the Geo Milev district of Sofia when it was set ablaze and that the vehicle was destroyed, SEEMO's press release reads.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic commented: “This is not the first time that the car of a journalist or a media company has been damaged in Bulgar11ia. Such incidents are used in the country as a means of threatening journalists. I urge the state authorities to investigate this case.”
He added: “I also call on authorities in Sofia to solve the cases of previous attacks on journalists. As we know, no one has been charged in relation to a number of cases of violence against journalists in Bulgaria in recent years.  Further, I urge all EU institutions in Brussels to do more to protect the security of journalists in Bulgaria. Attacks and pressure on journalists in any EU country, including Bulgaria, are not acceptable."

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