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Continued threats against well-known journalist in Colombia

(FLIP/IFEX) - 17 January 2013 - Oxfam and FLIP condemn the recent threats against journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima and call for a prompt investigation.

On 11 January 2013, Bedoya, a journalist with El Tiempo, received a threatening message via one of her sources warning her to stop publishing accusations. The individual in question said to tell Bedoya that she should stop reporting on "these things" or else she knew what might happen.

Since January 2011, Bedoya has been threatened six times. As a result of this, the federal attorney's office promised, as part of a precautionary measures agreement, to assign the investigations of all these threats to one office. Unfortunately, this promise has not been kept and investigations into the individual threats have all been assigned to different judicial offices. To date, no one has been punished/brought to justice for the threats against Bedoya.

Bedoya has received some precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2000, after she was kidnapped, tortured and sexually assaulted. Recently this abuse was declared a crime against humanity by the federal attorney.

Oxfam and FLIP call on the National Unit for the Protection of Journalists and the national police to take measures to guarantee the safety of the journalist and her sources. The organisations also regret the fact that the federal attorney did not fulfill their commitment. The dispersal of the investigations into the various threats has resulted in a revictimisation of Bedoya as it has resulted in the delay in the search for those responsible.

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