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Offices of "Apogevmatini" newspaper attacked by gang of masked men

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 27 February 2009 IFJ media release:

IFJ Calls For Action After New Armed Raid on Greek Media

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Greek authorities to take urgent action to protect media houses after a new violent attack in Athens, this time targeting the historical daily Apogevmatini. A gang of masked men carrying iron bars and throwing stones caused havoc after storming the editorial offices last night.

Extensive damage was caused in the building where journalists were working and the Journalists' Union of Athens Daily Newspapers condemned the raid, the second on a media house in a matter of days, as a new attack on press freedom.

"Journalism is coming under sustained violent attack," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It is time for the authorities to act to provide protection for media and their staff and to crackdown on those who are trying to intimidate media by acts of wanton violence."

Last week the IFJ and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned a similar attack on Alter TV, a private television station in Athens involving armed men who used force to gain entry into the station. In that case, the intruders fired shots and exploded devices shortly before the main news broadcast. They were thought to be members of Sekta Epanastaton, an extremist group in Greece.

"Unless firm action is taken, this form of intimidation will be taken up by others," said White. "Greek journalists have a right to demand that the authorities come to their assistance and we support them."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide.

For Further Information on the Alter TV case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/100881/

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