Vienna, 3 November 2008
The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 120 countries, strongly condemns the 31 October 2008 attack on Amare Aregawi, editor-in-chief of the Ethiopian bi-weekly newspaper The Reporter.
"IPI denounces this assault on Amare Aregawi in the strongest possible terms," said IPI Director David Dadge. "Given that Aregawi has been targeted for his work in the past, IPI is concerned that this attack was linked to his journalism. IPI calls on the authorities to not only bring those behind this brutal act to justice, but to also do everything in their power to ensure that Ethiopian journalists are free to carry out their profession without fear of attack."
According to information before IPI, Aregawi was assaulted at approximately 16.30 on 31 October by two assailants, while leaving his son's school following a parent-teacher meeting. Aregawi was struck on the back of the head, and left bleeding and unconscious on the ground. His assailants were apprehended shortly afterwards and Aregawi himself was brought to a local hospital by school employees, where he is currently being treated for head injuries.
Aregawi has previously been singled out for his writing. In August of this year, he was detained by authorities for a period of five days following the publication of articles addressing criticism of a local brewery and a government office. This most recent incident follows a series of editorials in The Reporter criticising members of the local business community, leading local sources to believe that the attack was also linked to his work as a journalist.
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IPI, the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, is dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.