The EU and Reporters Without Borders Defended Bulgarian Journalist Christo Grozev over Russia's Actions against him

Politics | January 3, 2023, Tuesday // 16:41|  views

Christo Grozev

"We remind Russia that the right to information is enshrined in the international documents to which Moscow is a party", said today a spokesperson for the European Commission in response to a question related to the announcement that the Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev is wanted by the Russian authorities, BTA reported.

"Russia introduced censorship on the war in Ukraine, approving a law to punish so-called 'false information', including about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This has caused many independent Russian and foreign media to leave Russia," the spokesman noted.

"The EU condemns Russia's actions against independent Russian media and the blocking of access to foreign websites", he added. "Russian authorities want to deprive Russian citizens of independent sources of information about the war they waged against Ukraine and the atrocities committed by Russian forces", said the EC spokesperson.

Grozev, who is a Bulgarian citizen, works for the independent investigative journalism network Bellingcat.

On December 26, the Russian Interior Ministry announced that it was looking for him. Russian authorities did not specify the nature of the offenses for which he was wanted, only indicating that they were contained in the criminal code.

Shortly after, the Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on her way out, she announced that Grozev would not be wanted all over the world, but simply should not go to Russia. The Ministry of Internal Affairs sent a request with information about the accusation to its Russian colleagues.

Grozev announced that he would appear at a hearing in the Bulgarian parliament regarding the influence of Russian services.

He believes that the reason for his search was the discovery of a secret group programming the targets of the missiles launched during the hostilities with Ukraine.

"Reporters Without Borders" on the Grozev case: the Kremlin plays a sad comedy

Reporters Without Borders believes that the search for the journalist Christo Grozev by the official authorities in Russia aims to warn him, and the indiscriminate accusations on an unspecified legal basis are grotesque.

This is said in a statement of the general secretary of the organization, Christophe Deloire, posted on the website of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), where Grozev's comment was also published.

"The intimidation of the few journalists who still manage to investigate the horrific reality of Russian power must stop as soon as possible. These indiscriminate accusations on an unspecified legal basis are grotesque. Today they reach their peak in the sad comedy played by the Russian authorities. These 'wanted posters', like in a bad western, are real calls for a witch hunt. It's vile!" says Christophe Deloire.

Grozev, who is not in Bulgaria, announced that he had been contacted by representatives of foreign embassies, but not by the Bulgarian authorities. In the opposite direction is the statement of the presidency, according to which they have been in contact with Grozev since before the official announcement of his wanted status.

"Announcing me as wanted without specifying the crime I'm accused of is a scare tactic. Not being able to protect myself against unknown crimes makes me a target for physical attack by Russian security services and mercenaries - just like any other journalist in my position. I'm sure the intention is to limit my ability to conduct further investigations. But in reality it shows the effectiveness of our journalistic work and gives me and my team even more motivation to continue our investigations," said Grozev, quoted by Reporters Without Borders.

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Tags: Grozev, Russia, EU, journalist


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