5 December 2003

Alert

Journalist severely beaten


Incident details

Ino Ardelean

journalist(s)

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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has condemned the brutal attack on Ino Ardelean, who covers local politics and corruption cases for the daily "Evenimentul Zilei" in the western city of Timisoara. Ardelean was attacked by thugs on the evening of 3 December 2003 as he was going home and was beaten until he lost consciousness. He was hospitalised with head injuries and two fractures to his jaw.

"The growing number of physical attacks on journalists who investigate corruption within the ruling political class, especially in the provinces, is extremely worrying," RSF said in a letter to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase. "The work of investigative journalists is essential in the fight against the corruption that is eating away at your country," the organisation added.

RSF called on the prime minister to ensure that everything is done to identify and punish those responsible for the attacks on journalists. "Otherwise the enemies of press freedom, who are increasingly concerned about protecting their image in the run-up to the 2004 legislative and presidential elections, will think that they can, with impunity, use violence against the journalists they consider troublesome."

Ardelean has often reported on the implication of local politicians, especially members of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), in illegal trafficking of various kinds. His most recent report, published in late November, concerned a local PSD representative and school director accused of forcing pupils to work for him for no pay.

Two other journalists have been the targets of physical attacks in 2003. On 25 July, Carmen Cosman, of the daily "Romania Libera", and Marius Mitrache, a correspondent with "Evenimentul Zilei", were punched and kicked by two unidentified individuals in the street, a few yards from the police station in the west-central town of Petrosani, as they were about to start working on a report. The two reporters had uncovered several corruption scandals in the local government, in which Jiu Valley mining company officials were implicated. The police investigation into the attack has yielded no results to date.



Source

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
 
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