“Media freedom and freedom of association further deteriorated as authorities targeted journalists and critics and cracked down on anti-government protests,” Amnesty International writes in the Bulgaria profile of its 2020/21 report on the state of the world's human rights.
“Media freedom continued to deteriorate, with journalists investigating organized crime and corruption facing intense political and prosecutorial pressure in the form of threats and intimidation,” Amnesty International writes and goes on: “Investigative reporter Nikolay Staykov was questioned by the Prosecutor’s Office and threatened with prosecution after he released a documentary which implicated the Prosecutor’s Office in a financial crime. Several journalists covering the antigovernment protests in the capital, Sofia, in September were physically assaulted by police; one was detained for hours. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights called the actions “unacceptable” and urged the authorities to investigate the attacks.
In its Rule of Law Report in September, the European Commission expressed serious concerns about the lack of transparency of media ownership and noted that media remained subject to systematic political control. Ranking 111th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index, Bulgaria remained the EU member state with the lowest standard of media freedom,” Amnesty International writes in its report on the state of human rights in 2020/2021.