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Community radio broadcaster attacked in East Timor

(AMARC/IFEX) - At 5:45 a.m. on 10 August 2012, radio broadcaster Leoneto da Cruz Goncalves of Community Radio Rakambia in East Timor was stabbed by two unidentified individuals riding on motorcycles in the district of Farol, in front of East Timor's Anti-Corruption Commission office. He was stabbed in the stomach but was able to walk to the Radio Rakambia building to request help from his colleague, Jeronimo dos Santos, who took him to Guido Valadares National Hospital, where he received surgical intervention. The motive behind the attack is unknown and police are investigating.

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) has expressed shock and anger over the incident. It joins the members and staff of Radio Rakambia, as well as the broadcaster's family and friends, in wishing him a speedy recovery.

AMARC demands a thorough investigation into the attack and calls on the authorities in East Timor to bring the culprits to justice and ensure the safety of media personnel. "I call on the authorities to bring to perpetrators of this attack to justice," AMARC Asia-Pacific President Ashish Sen said. "Attacking media workers equates to media silencing. Democracy requires freedom of expression."

Maica Lagman, AMARC Asia-Pacific's deputy president, communicated with Radio Rakambia's station manager soon after the incident and is closely following the case.

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