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Six people arrested for attack on local journalist

(BIANET/IFEX) - Of the twelve people alleged to have been involved in the attack on Durmus Tuna, owner of the local "Söke Gercek" newspaper in the Söke district of Aydin province, six have been arrested.

On 28 July 2009, twelve people were taken into custody, accused of seriously injuring the journalist. Of nine people questioned in the Söke 2nd Criminal Court of Peace on 29 July, three were released and six arrested.

Tuna, however, says that only those who actually physically attacked him had been arrested, but that he had heard a person shouting during the attack, "Hit him in the head, kill him."

Tuna was beaten in front of his 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece by between eight and ten attackers with sticks on 6 July. He suffered fractures to his right arm.

After the attack, Tuna told BIANET that he had received threatening phone calls for three months because he had been reporting on municipal bids. He said that, on 29 June, Mayor Necdet Özekmekci warned him in his office, saying: "Look, you should know that now not only you, but also your wife and children will get hurt."

The Turkish Journalists' Society (TGC) has supported Tuna in his call for the instigators of the attack to be found and prosecuted.

Meanwhile, the press council also condemned an attack on journalist Haci Bogatekin in Gerger, in the province of Adiyaman. He was beaten after taking photos of a fire that had broken out in an area where municipal workers dumped waste. The council said that attacks on journalists constitute attacks on the right of people to be informed.

The council said that Bogatekin was attacked by Ilhan Karatekin, a brother of the mayor, on 28 July. The journalist suffered partial fractures to his arm and nose and an injury to his forehead. The council has been unable to contact the mayor.

The Press Institute Association had previously condemned the attack on Bogatekin, calling on authorities to prevent any recurrence.

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