After the police dispersed the protesters in the small streets of the protest on Thursday, I chose to walk along Gurko Street. I was walking with a group of policemen and I saw that not far from me they were knocking a man to the ground. I ran to film this thing, and even before I could take a picture, one of the policemen came, hit the camera and said: “Get out of here with this camera”, “Dnevnik” photojournalist Georgi Kozhuharov told in our special studio dedicated to Thursday’s protest and its aftermath.
“Reporters Without Borders” condemns the attacks on journalists during the protest of the campaigners
Georgi Kojuharov was part of the media team that covered the protest against the leadership of the football union on Thursday night, which ended with clashes, arrests, injuries, fire and blood in the center of Sofia. He is one of our most experienced colleagues, especially in covering risky protests in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as military conflicts (Syria, Ukraine).
Photo gallery: The bloody football protest in the center of Sofia
During the situation on “Gurko” Street, he identified himself to the police verbally and with a press card and explained that he had no reason to move away from them because he was not preventing them from doing their job. In the end, however, after the intervention of the police, he was unable to film what was happening. That evening, another policeman also asked him to delete his photos. This happens next to the Church of the Holy Septuagint, where the police drag one of the detainees and even slam his head into a garbage can.
Among the things he has not been able to explain since the night of the protest is why the police allowed the Levski and CSKA Sofia posters to merge in one place at the very beginning of the protest and why they left a police bus in place in the fringes of the protest, where there aren’t many police. Subsequently, this police bus was set on fire and completely destroyed by protesters. “The police, in my opinion, spared the protesters with the water cannon. They used it for respect and not in its full capacity,” he explained. According to him, it was also a mistake that the people living in the area around the stadium were not warned to move their cars before the start of the protest.
Watch in the video the entire story of Georgi Kozhuharov about the escalation of tension at the protest on Thursday.
You can see the photos from Georgi Kojuharov’s protest here.
You can read more about the attitude of the police towards him on the night of the protest here.
The full recording of the studio special is here.