April 10, 2006


Vienna, 10/04/2006


Sergei Stanishev
Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria

Rumen Yordanov Petkov
Minister of Interior Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Your Excellencies,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is alarmed about a recent assassination attempt on a Bulgarian journalist.

According to information before SEEMO, on 6 April 2006, a bomb exploded in front of the house of Vassil Ivanov, an investigative reporter for Nova TV channel. The explosion destroyed his apartment, and smashed the windows of the building and the cars parked nearby, but luckily nobody was injured. Ivanov suspected the assault might have been connected to his reporting on crime and his investigative stories.

SEEMO strongly condemns this bomb attack, which was a clear attempt to kill the journalist and his family. Journalists should be able to work freely, without their life being threatened due to their reporting.

We urge Your Excellencies to do everything in your power to stop these practices and to prevent such cases from happening in the future, as well as to secure safe working conditions for journalists. SEEMO would also like to remind Your Excellencies that an open media environment allowing for the free flow of information is a fundamental principle of any democratic society.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

SEEMO Secretary General