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Bulgarian journalist investigating European Union corruption found brutally murdered

09 October 2018

A journalist who reported on alleged fraud involving the misuse of European Union funds has been found murdered in northeastern Bulgaria, authorities said on October 7. She had head injuries and there were signs of rape and suffocation, according to the Interior Ministry.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station in Ruse, and a TV presenter for two investigative programs. "A large amount of DNA has been obtained".

Prosecutors said she had been raped and beaten with such force that her face was unrecognisable.

The European Commission and the German government have joined a number of worldwide journalism organizations in condemning - and calling for an independent investigation into - the killing of Victoria Marinova, a local TV journalist in the town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria.

But because Marinova is the third reporter to be killed in Europe in the past year, the news stoked anxieties about the safety of journalists on the continent.

Dujarric told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY "there's been a very worrying increase of violence, sexual and otherwise, that's particularly targeting women journalists".

An investigative journalist was raped and murdered before being dumped by the Danube River.

The German government condemned her "brutal murder" and said it is imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this terrible event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "shocked by the barbaric murder". They called on Bulgarian authorities to identify, arrest and prosecute those responsible for Marinova's killing.

TVN said in a statement: 'With great pain and insurmountable grief the TVN's team is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague Victoria Marinova and we pray for sympathy to the sorrow of her relatives and colleagues'.

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a auto bomb in October.

Police could not immediately cite a motive, but many feared the worst in a country that ranked 111th globally - and last in the European Union - in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released last month by Reporters Without Borders. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

"We are shocked and saddened by the horrific murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova".

The Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria said there should be a thorough investigation into the death of Viktoria Marinova and justice should be " the people responsible for this brutal act". However, Bulgarian media reported that Marinova recently interviewed Romanian journalists who were investigating politicians and businessmen for alleged corruption of European Union funds.

A vigil for the journalist is being held in the Bulgarian capital today.

In October 2017 hundreds of Bulgarian journalists protested in Sofia against threats from Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov against the nation's biggest broadcasters after he accused mainstream media of leading a "massive smear campaign" against him.

People who worked with Marinova said otherwise.

But media focused on her recent work.

Bulgarian journalist investigating European Union corruption found brutally murdered