TV journalist murdered in Bulgarian town of Ruse

Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park

Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park Credit HO

A Bulgarian man was detained in Germany and charged with the rape and murder of television journalist Viktoria Marinova, Bulgaria's chief prosecutor said.

The 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park on Saturday and she was identified only by her initials.

Bulgaria's government said there was no evidence the killing was linked to Marinova's journalism for local television station TVN, "but her death has drawn worldwide condemnation and press freedom campaigners have expressed fears of a cover-up", says The Independent.

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. "The German prosecutor has arrested the suspect, they will then assess how to proceed", Mr Tsatsarov said. In February, Ján Kuciak, a Slovakian investigative reporter, 27, and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, were shot dead in their home, 40 miles from Bratislava.

It is not ultimately known if Marinova's murder is linked to her journalism work.

In a July report on the state of media freedom in Bulgaria, Reporters Without Borders said, "Fortunately, no investigative journalists have been killed in Bulgaria for their work, but there are documented murder plans and attempts, cruel, execution-style, beatings, vehicle arson and bombs targeting investigative reporters".

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"With enormous pain and insurmountable grief the team of TVN television is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague, Victoria Marinova", TVN said in a statement.

"Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution".

News agency reports about the killing were carried on several prominent worldwide media, which cited other murders of journalists in European countries in 2018.

Mladen Marinov, Bulgaria's interior minister, described the murder as "exceptionally brutal", according to local news outlets.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "shocked by the barbaric murder", calling on Bulgaria to "employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry".

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And even some of Marinova's fellow journalists were not convinced that she was killed because of her reporting.

According to the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index, Bulgaria ranks lower than other European Union member.

Marinova is the third investigative journalist from the European Union to have been targeted in less than 12 months.

Condolences poured in on Facebook for Marinova who leaves behind a small child. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning", Yordanov told the news agency.

The two worked alongside the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Amidst the events, vigils have been planned in Ruse, Vidin, Pleven, and the capital city of Sofia.

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