The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the latest developments in Bulgaria, after steps made by the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC).
The Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission has imposed two fines in January 2015 against Bulgarian media under the allegation that they were committing market manipulation through stories they published.
The online portal zovnews.com was punished with a 50,000 EUR penalty for their reports on the banking sector; the print media Capital and Dnevnik were punished with 80,000 EUR fines, and an additional fine of about €5,000 for refusing to reveal their sources.
SEEMO and its members are strongly opposing such regulations, since they break freedom of speech and basic rights of reporting. Large fines will eventually lead media outlets directly into self-censorship. It is important that media can investigate free, without any pressure, important issues that are of public interest.