The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has condemned the brutal assassination of Victoria Marinova, whose dead body was found on 6 October in the Bulgarian city of Ruse bearing signs of torture and sexual abuse.
“I condemn the murder of Victoria Marinova,” said the Director-General. “Attacks on journalists erode the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and its corollaries, press freedom and free access to information. Moreover, the use of sexual and physical abuse to silence a woman journalist is an outrage against the dignity and basic human rights of every woman.
“I urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. This is essential to defend freedom of expression and freedom of information in Bulgaria and, not least important, to ensure women’s safety, dignity and freedom.
“Furthermore, I am deeply concerned about the rising proportion of women among media personnel who come under attack. This calls for the reinforcement of our commitment in addressing specific threats to the safety of women journalists,” Ms Azoulay added.
Victoria Marinova was the presenter of current affairs programme “Detector” on local, privately-owned television broadcaster TVN.
In 2017, UNESCO recorded the highest number of women journalists killed since 2006. The percentage of women media professionals killed worldwide last year rose to 14% from 4% in 2012. In 2017, four out of seven journalists killed in Europe were women.
UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
See also: UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
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