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IFEX - News from the international freedom of expression community

APRESS RELEASE/ALERT - ROMANIA

30 December 2003

Journalist attacked and seriously injured

SOURCE: International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna

**For further information on the Ardelean case, see IFEX alert of 5 December 2003; for information on the Costinas case, see alerts of 31 March 2003 and 12 September and 14 August 2002**

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a press release by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

Vienna, 30 December 2003

NEW ATTACK AGAINST JOURNALIST IN ROMANIA

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the attack on Csondy Szoltan, a journalist for Hargita Nepe in Miercurea-Ciuc (Csíkszereda), who was attacked by an unknown assailant or assailants on Friday, 26 December 2003. According to SEEMO's sources, he was seriously injured after being beaten on the staircase of the building where he lives in Miercurea-Ciuc. The attacker or attackers fled after the neighbours interfered.

SEEMO is worried about the growing number of physical attacks on journalists in Romania. "SEEMO has been informed about numerous cases in which reporters have been physically attacked in Romania this year. This development is extremely worrying, especially in light of the upcoming elections in Romania in 2004," SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said.

Only a few weeks ago, on 3 December, Ino Ardelean, who works for the daily Evenimentul Zilei in Timisoara, was beaten unconscious on his way home. Ardelean frequently reported about illegal activities in his city. On 21 March, the police found the body of Iosif Bebe Costinas, a journalist for the newspaper Timisoara, who disappeared on 7 June 2002. The remains of his body were found in a forest near Timisoara. Costinas had published articles on sensitive subjects, including unsolved killings during the December 1989 anti-communist revolt in Romania and the continued presence in high positions of officers of the former Securitate secret police. Furthermore, Costinas was writing a book about illegal business activities in
Timisoara.

SEEMO would like to recall that all threats against publishers, editors and journalists have a negative effect on democracy and the development of independent and professional journalism in any given country. SEEMO therefore calls upon the authorities in Romania to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation and to bring to justice those responsible for these attacks against journalists. We further urge the authorities to do everything possible to ensure that journalists and other media workers in Romania are able to safely carry out their profession.

For further information, contact IPI at Spiegelgasse 2/29, A-1010 Vienna, Austria, tel: +43 1 512 90 11, fax: +43 1 512 90 14, e-mail: Michael Kudlak at mkudlak@freemedia.at, Diana Orlova at info@freemedia.at, or David Dadge
at ddadge@freemedia.at, Internet site: http://www.freemedia.at, or SEEMO,
Spiegelgasse 2/29, 1010 Vienna, Austria, tel (SEEMO+HELP LINE): +43 1 513 39
40, +43 1 512 90 11 11, fax: +43 1 512 90 15, e-mail: info@seemo.org,
Internet site: http://www.seemo.org

The information contained in this press release/alert is the sole responsibility of IPI. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit IPI.
_________________________________________________________________
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489 College Street, Suite 403, Toronto (ON) M6G 1A5 CANADA
tel: +1 416 515 9622 fax: +1 416 515 7879
alerts e-mail: alerts@ifex.org general e-mail: ifex@ifex.org
Internet site: http://www.ifex.org/

 
   
 
 
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