November 22, 2023

22.11.2023 – Police Violence Aganist Journalists in Bulgaria

The protest against the management of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) on 16 November 2023 escalated into aggression and riots in Sofia, Bulgaria, resulting in injuries to citizens, law enforcement officers, and the detention of 38 protesters. Regrettably, during this protest police violence against journalists were observed.

The Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria (AEJ Bulgaria) ( reported several incidents involving journalists, documenting police brutality. The incidents include allegedly police pressure on Georgi Kozhuharov, a photojournalist of Dnevnik, to delete his photos. Kozhuharov was wearing a helmet with the word PRESS on it. Among additional attacks on journalists is the alleged attack on a ( reporter while broadcasting live from the event. Other journalists, including those from Darik Radio ( or one photojournalist from a foreign news agency, who wished to remain anonymous, were also subjected to violence while reporting on the protests.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) calls for an urgent independent investigation into the events of 16 November 2023, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability. SEEMO urges responsible institutions to investigate police violence against journalists.

SEEMO strongly condemns the acts of violence against journalists in Bulgaria. Journalists must be able to perform their duties without fear of intimidation or harm, and those responsible for violence must be held accountable for their actions.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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