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Newspaper's Rotterdam offices attacked

(BIANET/IFEX) - 20 March 2012 - BIANET reports that the Steering Board of the Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC) condemns the assault on the offices of "Zaman" newspaper in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The office was attacked in the very early morning hours of 19 March.

The building was damaged in the attack. The TGC announced, "Unfortunately, this sort of attacks against press freedom that try to inflict pressure on journalists are still being continued. However, these efforts are not going to yield any result. The attacks on the offices of the "Zaman" newspapers are attacks on the people's right to information. We expect the Dutch authorities to arrest the assailants and their instigators as soon as possible. We send our best wishes to the employees of the Zaman Newspaper and the Rotterdam Office".

The offices of "Zaman" newspaper in Germany and France have been attacked in the past.

Ismail Erdem, Netherlands Director of the newspaper, said that according to records of the security cameras of the Rotterdam office, five disguised people smashed all windows at the front side of the building at around two o'clock in the morning on 19 March.

Erdem reported that the employees informed the police when they arrived at the office in the morning. The police investigated on the scene and launched an investigation to find the attackers.

"As far as we understood from the footage. this was not an ordinary attack. We think it was a planned assault. This attack is not only an attack against the 'Zaman' newspaper. This was an attack against an official institution in the Netherlands. We want the assailants to be arrested as soon as possible. We hope that the Dutch authorities will quickly deal with this incident," Erdem said.

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