March 18, 2020 / 8:49 PM / 21 days ago

Bulgarian investigative journalist assaulted in Sofia

SOFIA (Reuters) - A popular Bulgarian investigative journalist was severely beaten by masked men outside his home in downtown Sofia late on Tuesday in an attack condemned by many journalist organizations and politicians in the Balkan country.

Slavi Angelov, 47, an editor-in-chief of the 168 Hours weekly newspaper and a veteran criminal reporter, was hospitalized with severe injuries on the head and legs. He has undergone surgery but his life was not in danger, officials said.

Police and prosecutors are investigating the assault, which they say was most likely linked to Angelov’s work. Journalists at his publication said they were going through his latest stories to seek clues on possible attackers.

Angelov is known for his in-depth stories on Bulgaria’s criminal underground since 1990s and for his reporting on environmental corruption issues.

The attack was decried by a number of domestic and international journalist organizations, demanding a swift and a transparent investigation in the country, which ranked 111th in the World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders.

“Authorities must ensure that those who attack journalists are held to account; impunity in such cases only encourages more attacks,” said the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Leslie Adler

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