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Journalist assaulted

(APG/IFEX) - The following is a 25 February 2003 APG Press Freedom Committee press release:

Condemnation of attack on Cerigua reporter

The APG Press Freedom Committee has been informed that on 23 February 2003 reporter Elizabel Enríquez of the Cerigua news agency was attacked by unidentified individuals as she was about to enter the agency's office. The assailants reportedly threatened the journalist and stole her purse and office keys.

According to the information collected by the APG Press Freedom Committee, Cerigua staff were the target of a number of attacks, assaults and threats in 2002 and 2003. The agency's administrator and reporter in Baja Verapaz were assaulted, the home of the Jutiapa correspondent was searched and the Santa Cruz del Quiché correspondent was threatened and intimidated.

The latest attack, similarly to those previously reported to national and international organisations, is of concern to the APG Press Freedom Committee. The committee condemns the assault and demands that the authorities thoroughly investigate the incident, in order to identify those responsible and bring them before the law.

We have presented our protest to the government, Attorney General's Office, National Police and the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA). The matter has also been brought to the attention of the Latin American Federation of Journalists (Federacion Latinoamericana de Periodistas, FELAP) and the Commission for the Investigation of Attacks on Journalists (Comision de Investigacion de Atentados a Periodistas).

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