21 October 2004


ETA renews threats against journalists

Incident details



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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has expressed serious concern after the Basque separatist group ETA issued a series of new threats against journalists. The organisation called on Spanish authorities to protect the journalists.

Pedro J. Ramírez, editor of the daily "El Mundo", said on 18 October 2004 that a journalist at his paper had received threats from ETA. The news follows a 15 October report by Basque radio and television station Euskal Irratia Telebista (EITB) that several of its staff had received threatening letters from the separatist group.

"ETA has resumed its terror campaign against media who do not cover international politics or the situation in the Basque country to their liking. We urge the Spanish authorities, once again, to put in place all the necessary measures to protect journalists and allow them to carry out their work," RSF said in a letter to Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso.

"El Mondo" editorial staff said an unnamed journalist working in the Basque Country had received a letter from ETA during the week of 15 October telling him that his name had appeared in the separatist group's internal bulletin.

In the letter, ETA said that the journalist's work was "no good" and accused him of being a "police officer" and an "informer".

"You use the word terrorist to refer to ETA and its members. You encourage police operations and you are in favour of a police solution to the conflict," said the letter. "You express your joy when ETA members are tortured or kidnapped. You stir up people against the Basque National Liberation Movement [Movimiento de Liberación Nacional Vasco, MLNV]."

RSF pointed out that Spain is the only country in the European Union in which journalists, when targeted by ETA, have to travel with bodyguards.


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