(CPJ/IFEX) - In a 21 March 2001 letter to His Highness Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, emir of the State of Kuwait, CPJ stated that it is deeply alarmed by the 20 March murder of editor Hidaya Sultan al-Salem, owner and editor of the weekly magazine "Al-Majales". While a motive for this killing has not yet been established, CPJ fears that al-Salem may have been killed for her journalism.
Al-Salem, a 66-year-old veteran journalist, was killed on the morning of Tuesday 20 March on her way to work when an armed assailant opened fire on her chauffeur-driven car in Kuwait City. The assailant, who was described as wearing a traditional long robe, reportedly got out of a four-wheel drive car and fired several rounds into al-Salem's car while it was stopped in traffic. She died shortly thereafter.
According to press reports, local authorities have detained four people for questioning in connection with al-Salem's death. There has been considerable media speculation about the reasons for the assassination, including alleged financial disputes within al-Salem's family and other alleged disputes with some of her employees. In the latest edition of "Al-Majales", according to press reports, al-Salem published an open letter claiming she had been harassed by the police.
CPJ is gravely concerned that al-Salem may have been killed because of her professional work as a journalist.
Send appeals to the emir of the State of Kuwait:
- expressing the grave concern that al-Salem may have been killed because of her professional work as a journalist
- urging him to ensure that authorities conduct a thorough and impartial investigation and make their findings public
- suggesting that those responsible for this terrible crime should be brought swiftly to justice
His Highness Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah
Emir of the State of Kuwait
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Fax: +965 539 3069
Please copy appeals to the source if possible.