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IFJ condemns attack against journalists' leader in Cadiz

(IFJ/IFEX) - 27 January 2011 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the brutal attack against Fernando Santiago, President of the Press Association of Cadiz (APC).

Fernando was left with bruises on the face and swollen eyes after a man attacked him in the Cadiz city centre on Friday 21 January. The aggressor, an employee of Delphi, a US spare parts company, was seemingly reacting to an article Fernando published about the use of public funds to rescue the struggling company. He is reported to have threatened Fernando, telling him "Do not write any more".

"We are appalled by this shocking attack on a journalist for raising an issue of clear public interest," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "Such a behavior is an attack on our colleague and on press freedom which cannot go unchallenged and we urge the authorities to make sure the aggressor faces the full force of the law."

The IFJ joins its Spanish affiliates who condemned the attack on Fernando and expressed their solidarity. On Tuesday 25 January, around 200 people, mainly journalists, gathered in front of the APC offices in Cadiz to show their support to Fernando Santiago.

"This brutal attack has caused public outrage among journalists and ordinary people," added Boumelha. "We must not give in to intimidation and we will push back hard to ensure a free press prevails in a democracy."

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