Bulgaria Shocked by Brutal Rape, Murder of Journalist Viktoria Marinova

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia

He said Marinova was linked to bivol.bg's investigations because its reporters had appeared on her show.

Marinova worked for a small local TV station called TVN where she presented two investigative programs. "Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", Marinova said in her conclusion on the last Detector episode, aired on 30 September, adding that her show would give a forum to investigative journalists and engage in its own investigations in future.

The thirty-year-old's body was found in a park on Saturday, Georgiev said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental organization, called for a "thorough investigation" of her rape and murder, noting "a trend of increased attacks against female journalists".

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an worldwide press freedom organization, has written to the Bulgarian Prime Minister, and top European Union leaders, expressing concern that Bulgarian journalists investigating a huge corruption case have been harassed, warning they are at risk of retaliation for their reporting.

The two had been investigating alleged fraud with European Union funds linked to big businessmen and politicians when they were detained by armed Bulgarian police for more than seven hours in mid-September as they followed up on a tip that crucial documents were being burned in a field outside the capital, Sofia.

Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov concurred.

He says Dujarric said Guterres is paying "very close attention" to the trend and has raised the issue of violence against journalists with United Nations member states, both privately and publicly.

Hundreds of people flocked to Ruse's main square to put flowers in front of a picture of Marinova, with some in the crowds urging the authorities not to play down the possibility her work was a reason for the killing.

Prosecutors are probing both "personal and professional" leads in the investigation into her death.

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She had been reporting on this ongoing investigation over the previous year.

Marinova was partially undressed and, as it was concluded during the investigation, raped, reports Russian BBC office.

Marinov said investigators are now working to identify any "contacts and problems" she had before the murder.

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Mladen Mladenov confirmed that Marinova was raped before she was killed, describing her death as "exceptionally brutal".

Marionva, a former lifestyle journalist, was a television presenter for TVN, a popular channel in northeastern Bulgaria. "Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption", the European Commission's First Vice President Frans Timmerman tweeted.

Marinova's murder has drawn worldwide condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive investigation. "She wanted to make investigative reporting", he said.

Marinova's killing was widely-condemned on Twitter by fellow journalists and watchdog groups.

Marinova is the third journalist to be killed in Europe this year. And in February, Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist who also reported on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova.

Jourova and MEPs have visited Malta and Slovakia to keep an eye on police enquiries, but no one has been brought to justice yet.

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