Bulgarian National Radio's editorial board calls for resignation of its Director

At a meeting of the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) on September 19, the BNR editorial board called for the resignation of the radio’s Director General Svetoslav Kostov because of the suspension of the journalist, Silvia Velikova from the air of Horizont programme...

Bulgarian National Radios editorial board calls for resignation of its Director

At a meeting of the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) on September 19, the BNR editorial board called for the resignation of the radio’s Director General Svetoslav Kostov because of the suspension of the journalist, Silvia Velikova from the air of Horizont programme.

One of the members of the CEM, Ivelina Dimitrova, also demanded responsibility from the radio chief and his resignation, and the chair of the media regulator Sofia Vladimirova stated that she was hesitant in her confidence in Svetoslav Kostov.

Next Friday, CEM will discuss the request for the resignation of the radio chief.

CEM will impose a fine on the radio for suspending the broadcasting of Horizont programme for 5 hours on September 13. Under the Bulgarian law, public broadcasters Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television are required to be on air constantly as a matter of national security.

Because of journalists' words, CEM will refer alleged pressure on journalists to the Prosecutor's office.

A deputy chief editor of Horizont progarmme, Daniela Kusovska, said that she had resigned. She said that as ameber of the management she also demanded the resignation of the BNR Director General and the management board. I think that given this unprecedented attempt for pressure and the censorship, we cannot continue to work with this management team, she said.

Sofia Vladimirova, Chairperson of CEM: CEM will refer to the Prosecutor's Office in relation to the information about pressures against BNR journalists, attempted censorship and physical threats, as CEM is not the body that can investigate these facts and circumstances.

***

Horizont programme of the BNR was off air for 5 hours on the morning of September 13. The suspension of broadcasting was investigated by several Bulgarian state institutions, including the Prosecutor’s office and the State Agency for National Security. The investigation was ordered by Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, as the BNR as public broadcaster is meant to always remain on air.

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