‘Bulgaria’s Charlie Hebdo’ Blocked From News Stands


Mariya Cheresheva | BIRN | Sofia

Chavdar Georgiev (to the left), Tchavdar Nikolov and Christo Komarnitski wih the first copies of Pras Press. Photo: Tchavdar Nikolov/Facebook

After complaining that their satirical new newspaper, Pras Press, had been blocked from reaching news stands, the cartoonists and writers behind it have decided to sell copies directly on the streets.

Cartoonists and publishers behind a new newspaper, published by Bulgaria’s “Society of Rude Cartoonists”, on Monday said they planned to sell copies of Pras Press directly on Slaveikov Square in central Sofia, famous as a book distribution hub.

Other volunteers will also take to the streets of Sofia and other cities on Wednesday to distribute the satirical edition, which was compared to the French magazine Charlie Hebdo when the first copies went on release on March 1.

“We are trying to avoid the monopoly on print distribution in Bulgaria,” Tchavdar Nikolov, a popular cartoonist and one of the publishers of Pras Press, told BIRN on Monday.

He and the other publishers – journalist Ivan Bakalov and cartoonists Christo Komarnitski and Alla and Chavdar Georgievi, on Sunday said their contractor, State Distribution Company, had stopped most of the print circulation of 10,000 copies from reaching news stands.

“Over nine-tenths of our circulation has been blocked somewhere, arrested, stopped,” Bakalov said, adding that only a tenth of the copies had reached readers in the country.

He explained that many readers had called him and his colleagues on March 1, complaining that they could find the newspaper at the kiosks.

“This continued throughout the day; we went about ourselves, asked around and found out that at some key spots the newspaper had not been delivered at all or just one or two copies had been shipped,” Bakalov said.

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