Bulgarian radio says suspect has been arrested in connection with journalist's slaying

Bulgarian radio says suspect has been arrested in connection with journalist's slaying

He stressed that such rhetoric has turned a significant sector of society against a few journalists, which in turn, has isolated these scribes and silenced them into self-censorship.

The media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Harlem Desir, called for a "full and thorough investigation" into Marinova's death.

At the same time, the number of independent media outlets reporting on corruption has fallen.

"While the motive for this horrific crime remains unclear, we emphasize that Bulgarian authorities must consider all angles, including the possibility that Ms Marinova was killed in connection with her work", the International Press Institute's Deputy Director Scott Griffen said in a statement. The Ruse prosecution office and local police stated at a press conference today that they would look at "all versions" of the murder, according to Balkan Insight.

"At this stage, let's be careful, not because we don't have anything to say, but because every word uttered loosely could damage our work", he said.

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia.

Still, some European Union lawmakers and press freedom advocates were hesitant to accept the government's suggestion that Marinova's work was coincidental to her death.

In the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, mourners gathered outside a church. The European Union pledged its support for Bulgarian authorities as they continued their investigation.

Ms Marinova was planning a report about a separate case of alleged embezzlement when she was killed.

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Local media focused on Marinova's recent TV interview with Bulgarian journalists Attila Biro and Dimitar Stoyanov who were investigating alleged large-scale fraud by companies involved in EU-funded infrastructure projects. He left the country on Sunday, the interior minister told reporters. But Bulgarian authorities are trying to downplay this part of the story.

The Committee to Protect Journalists EU (CPJ) has called Marinova's death "barbaric" and has called for Bulgaria to "employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and bring to justice those responsible".

Police continue to probe the death, with more details expected to emerge in the coming days.

The brutal crimes shook Ruse, where murders are rare.

Europe has seen the steepest decline in World Press Freedom Index regional rankings over the past year: Malta is now ranked 65th, down by 18 points, and Slovakia 27th, down by 10.

"Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", she said.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is paying "very close attention" to "a very worrying increase" in violence against journalists, especially women journalists, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "So, absolutely no version is underestimated", he said, according to state media.

Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said: "Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing". A young Slovak investigative journalist, Ján Kuciak, was shot dead in February with his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.

Swedish reporter Kim Wall was killed by Danish inventor Peter Madsen after boarding his homemade submarine to do an interview in Copenhagen in August 2017.

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