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Organisation claims responsibility for murder of journalist, threatens media

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 25 August 2010 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI) would like to express its concern at the statement issued by the organisation "Revolutionary Sect", claiming the murder of Greek Journalist Socrates Giolias.

According to information received by SEEMO, the statement, which was published in the Greek newspaper Ta Nea on 28 July 2010, contains explicit smears against several journalists, and threats against the life and well-being of Nikos Hadjinikolaou, a well-known news anchor for ALTER, one of Greece's foremost TV channels. It also threatens policemen and businessmen.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: "These threats and smear tactics must not be taken lightly. This organisation has shown that it is ready to murder people as 'punishment' for 'errors' it attributes to them. SEEMO would like to call upon the Greek government to take all possible measures to safeguard the ability of journalists to exercise their profession."

Vujovic added: "The current developments appear to be even more serious that the unsuccessful November 2009 bomb attacks on the offices of Moschos Voitsidis, president of the Journalists' Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers, and the home of Panayotis Nestoridis, a former Journalists' Union of Macedonia vice-president."

"Although the condition of journalists in Greece was for a long time considered better than in most countries in the region, the last year has shown that the situation may be deteriorating. The rise of an organisation proclaiming its intention to "make blood flow", leaving "not a millimetre of safe refuge in the lives" of journalists, should set alarm bells ringing."

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