Journalist brutally murdered in Bulgaria

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

In Bulgaria, police found the body of a 30-year-old journalist Saturday in the northern town of Ruse, after she disappeared shortly after reporting on the misuse of European Union funds by local authorities.

Victoria Marinova, a 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist, was murdered in the town of Ruse, Buglaria on Saturday. They are also investigating whether her death is linked to her work.

Marinova was a board member for television station TVN based in Ruse.

The brutal killing of the Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive worldwide investigation. Last month she began anchoring a program called "Detector", which focused on political investigations. There were only five murders past year in the small city of about 150,000.

"We at OCCRP are calling for an independent investigation/review by the European Union of the rape, torture and murder of Bulgarian mother and journalist Victoria Marinova".

Bulgarian authorities are investigating the rape and murder of a reporter in the northern city of Ruse.

"There is no democracy without a free press". Her show had recently interviewed two famous investigative reporters: Atila Biro from website Rise Project and Dimitar Stoyanov from Bivol.

He gave his condolences to the victim's relatives and thanked everyone who had worked on the investigation.

Widespread corruption, shady media ownership, and suspected collusion between journalists, politicians, and oligarchs have made objective reporting a constant obstacle course, according to the RSF.

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A spokesman for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he expected "a swift and thorough investigation" that would "bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work".

"There is physical evidence to link to the murder", Marinov said on Wednesday.

The "horrendous murder", in Timmermans' words, comes after the killing of Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta one year ago.

The Center for the Study of Democracy, based in the capital, Sofia, outlined in a report previous year a portrait of a state so riddled with graft that 1 in 5 adults, or 1.3 million people, were thought to have taken part in a corrupt transaction, such as paying or receiving a bribe.

"Those responsible must be held to account", one of their representatives wrote on social media.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said investigators were looking into Marinova's professional and personal life.

"In certain countries there is just not enough enforcement of the law", Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told NPR.

"Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing", Georgi Georgiev, Ruse's regional prosecutor, told reporters.

"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.

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