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Bulgaria: Police examine if journalist’s work tied to attack

March 18, 2020 GMT

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Police in Bulgaria say a well-known investigative journalist has been attacked by unknown assailants near his home in Sofia.

Police said Wednesday that three men wearing masks used metal bars to beat Slavi Angelov, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper 168 Hours, and he was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

Angelov is known for his investigative reporting on political and environmental corruption issues.

The assailants did not take any of Angelov’s possessions, and investigators are examining if the attack was linked to his reporting, police said.

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Other journalists and human rights groups called for a swift and thorough investigation.

The media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Harlem Desir, said in a statement that Angelov was beaten unconscious and had a leg broken during the attack, which one of the masked assailants filmed.

“This is an unacceptable act of intimidation against the journalist, which could have ended in his death,” Desir said. “Such an attack against the press cannot be tolerated.”

The assault took place as media freedom has been losing ground in Bulgaria, Desir said.