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IFJ condemns brutal attack against journalist in northern Cyprus

(IFJ/IFEX) - 8 April 2011 - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), today condemned a bomb attack in Nicosia, northern Cyprus, which targeted Mutlu Esendemir, the news editor of Kanal T and a reporter for the Turkish-Cypriot daily Kribrisli.

The improvised explosive device which was placed underneath Esendemir's car went off when he opened the car door
at about 1 a.m. The victim, who had left the TV station studios, was injured and admitted to hospital for treatment. "This is the latest incident in a series of serious attacks against journalists' safety and press freedom in the Northern part of Cyprus," said Arne König, EFJ President. "We condemn this attack and we call on authorities to bring to justice those who committed this crime against Esendemir".

The EFJ joined its affiliate, Basin Sen and many other trade unions and organisations in both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities which condemned the attack against the Turkish Cypriot journalist.

The EFJ says that the journalists working in the northern part of Cyprus face extremely difficult conditions with almost daily press freedom violations as well as intimidation against journalists who dare to report on controversial issues. Recently, there was an attack on the Africa newspaper which is critical of Turkish policy and military occupation of
Cyprus.

The EFJ urges Turkey, a country with ambitions to join the European Union and which has the control of the northern part of Cyprus, to respect the core values and fundamental human rights of press freedom, independent journalism and information, as well as freedom of expression.

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