CYPRUS: SEEMO Condemns Attack Against Journalist Mutlu Esendemir in Northern Cyprus

CYPRUS, CYPRUS, 12/04/2011, 13:30

The Vienna-based South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns the recent bomb attack targeting Mutlu Esendemir, the news editor of the Turkish-Cypriot Kanal T Television and a reporter for the Turkish language daily Kibris. The explosive device placed underneath Esendemir´s car, parked in front of the Kanal T premises, exploded as he tried to open the car door. The journalist was treated in the hospital for minor injuries.

After the attack, that took place on 5 April 2011, Mutlu Esendemir wrote in Kibris that the attack against him was related to articles written during the past ten days regarding city planning problems in Keryneia.

Political parties and other organizations condemned the attack. Kemal Darbaz, president of the journalist association Basin Sen, said that attacks against journalists have become more frequent. 

SEEMO is also concerned with the latest threats against Cenk Mutluyakah, editor of Turkish-Cypriot critical daily Yeniduzen.

As SEEMO reported on 2 March 2011, another Turkish-Cypriot journalist, Sener Levent, editor of the newspaper Afirka, received a death threat. On 25 February 2011, unknown attackers opened gun fire at Afrika's office door. One bullet hit the wall and the other lodged in the door. The attackers left a note warning that next time the shots would target the journalist, rather than just his office door.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic called on the authorities to find the perpetrators of both attacks. "Press freedom has to be guaranteed in a democratic society and different opinions respected," he said.

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