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IPI condemns series of attacks against journalists

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 21 January 2010 - The South-East European Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns a wave of violent attacks against journalists in Greece. The attacks were reported to the SEEMO office.

Attacks on sports reporters have been common in recent years. In the most recent incident, sports reporters covering the AEK-Olympiakos Championship football match in Athens, on 6 January 2010, were violently beaten.

A wave of attacks since October 2009 - when the offices of the daily "Espresso" were stormed by a gang of 20 masked and armed youths - has targeted prominent journalists and publications. Most notably, at the end of November 2009, the office of Moschos Makis Voitsidis, President of the Journalists' Union of Macedonia-Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEM-Th), was attacked with an explosive device, and a similar explosive device was found in front of the home of Panayotis Nestoridis, former Vice President of the same organisation and current Vice President of the Journalists' Health Fund (EDOEAP).

Commenting on the wave of attacks, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: "SEEMO is alarmed by this wave of violence targeting journalists in Greece. SEEMO calls upon the Greek government and officials to help the media to practice their work free from aggression and attacks. Journalists must be secured to work without any pressure."

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