AEJ- Bulgaria demands the country's Prosecutor's Office to start an investigation for a racist title

To Mr.Boris Velchev,

Prosecutor general of Bulgaria

Copy to: Mass media representatives

Dear Mr. Velchev,

The Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ) demands the country’s Prosecutor’s Office to start an investigation under Article 162 (1) of the Criminal Code (incitement for hatred and discrimination based on race). The act is committed by journalists working for the daily “7 Dni Sport”, the number of the issue is 6339, published on 01/18/2012. We find that the title of the main article on the front page, signed by Simeon Kichukov and Boyan Petrov, is not only offensive and controversal to the journalistic ethics, but it is also an incitement for racial hatred and discrimination within the meaning of the quoted Article.

We are convinced that this act is highly dangerous for the society, because it has been done consciously using the platform of a popular print media. We demand that not only the journalists who signed the article but also the editor on duty,  the editor in chief of the publication and all superiors who approved of this title, including the publisher be hold accountable. We believe that the lack of response by the responsible state institutions on this case, would allow this precedent to become a common practice for some of the Bulgarian media representatives.
We would like to remind our colleagues that freedom of speech ends where the violation of civil rights starts. A failure to comply with the basic principles of journalistic ethics reflects on the media by making it look inferior in the eyes of its readers.
The title was: “CSKA’s New Players: Italian, Swede and Two Blackies.”

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