Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Bulgaria15 September 2008

Security agency closes corruption whistle-blower website

Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of journalist Yorgo Petsas, the administrator of the Frognews ( website, by members of the National Security Agency (DANS) on 5 September on suspicion of being responsible for Opasnite (, a website that has allegedly posted “classified secrets” about corruption cases.

Petsas was questioned at DANS headquarters for seven hours about his activities since 1 September before being released. Opasnite (“Dangerous News”), which was being run anonymously, has been inaccessible since 5 September at the DANS’ behest.

“Bulgaria undertook to guarantee press freedom when it joined the European Union,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The arrest of Petsas bodes ill for the freedom of action of journalists who write articles on subjects regarded as sensitive by the government.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Given that an EU report in July criticised Bulgaria’s efforts to combat corruption, the government should be encouraging the publication of news reports on this subject. We urge the authorities to unblock Opasnite and to stop trying to intimidate those responsible for the site.”

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee has condemned the website’s closure.

Bulgaria was ranked 51st out of 169 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index.

  In this country
13 November - Bulgaria
Former interior minister says “spineless” journalist should be “hit”
29 September - Bulgaria
Threats against Frognews stepped up. Censored website reappears on
24 September - Bulgaria
Vicious assault on editor of Frog News
29 May - Bulgaria
Police who allegedly beat news photographer to go unpunished
23 February - Bulgaria
Acid threat against journalist

in the annual report
Bulgaria - Annual Report 2008
Bulgaria - Annual report 2007

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives