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Television show host's car set on fire in Bulgaria

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), today expressed concern about a reported attack on a vehicle owned by Genka Shikerova, co-host of the morning show "Tazi Sutrin" (This Morning) on bTV, a private national television channel in Bulgaria.

Shikerova's car was set on fire on Monday evening in what is suspected to have been arson. Shikerova told viewers of her show on Tuesday morning that the vehicle was parked in front of her home in the Geo Milev district of Sofia when it was set ablaze and that the vehicle was destroyed.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: "This is not the first time that the car of a journalist or a media company has been damaged in Bulgaria. Such incidents are used in the country as a means of threatening journalists. I urge the state authorities to investigate this case."

He added: "I also call on authorities in Sofia to solve the cases of previous attacks on journalists. As we know, no one has been charged in relation to a number of cases of violence against journalists in Bulgaria in recent years.

Further, I urge all EU institutions in Brussels to do more to protect the security of journalists in Bulgaria. Attacks and pressure on journalists in any EU country, including Bulgaria, are not acceptable."

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