Scandalous censorship of a cartoon starring the Bulgarian Prime Minister


Last Wednesday (13 April 2016), as usual, a video cartoon by Tchavdar Nikolov – Our Ambassador in Bulgaria, was aired at the Nova TV’s Morning Show. Afterwards, according to their contract, it was published at the Bulgarian video sharing platform vbox7, also part of Nova TV’s media group.

The video cartoon depicts the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681 AD under the Proto-Bulgarian horse tail flag. The next part of the video cartoon, shows the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov under a cable tie (literally translated in Bulgarian: “Pigs tail”) flag.

The plot humors Bulgarian Prime Minister’s approval of the illegal migrant hunters, chasing down and performing, again unlawful citizen’s arrest of refugees.

A short five hours after the public broadcast, the video cartoon was erased from vbox7, followed by a complete deletion of Tchavdar’s profile there, including all 90 of his video cartoons, previously uploaded there. Also his contract with Nova Broadcasting Group was terminated by the Group.

Nova Broadcasting Group is part of the Swedish Modern Time Group (MTG)

Tchavdar’s strong suspicion of political pressure applied by the Prime Minister or someone of his staff, led to his response with a Cartoon published on his public profile on Facebook.
This cartoon pictures the notorious media tycoon Delyan Peevski, known for his strong support for the Prime Minister and a well known symbol of censored press in Bulgaria, and Mr. Borissov himself, as Peevski’s tail.

All of the above triggered a strong social and media reaction in Tchavdar’s support. This led to a public apology by Nova Broadcasting Group CEO, Didier Stoessel. His video profile at vbox7 was reinstated. Also he has been offered a new contract by Nova Broadcasting Group!

On Friday (15 April 2016), a protest supporting Tchavdar and opposing political censorship, took place in the center of Sofia. The whole case is a clear example of why Bulgaria dropped to 106th place in the Press Freedom ranking list, published by Reporters Sans Frontieres.