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Nigeria21 March 2008

Lagos-based daily’s cartoonist attacked at home by armed intruders

Reporters Without Borders condemns an attack on The Guardian newspaper’s cartoonist Obe Ess, who was hit by armed intruders in his home in the Lagos suburb of Ipaja on 19 March for unknown reasons. Based in Lagos, The Guardian is a privately-owned daily.

“Nigerian journalists are often the victims of violence and we urge the authorities to put an end to the impunity enjoyed by those responsible these attacks,” the press freedom organisation said. “Measures should be taken to protect Obe Ess and his family until the motives for the attack are established and the perpetrators are identified and punished.”

The intruders initially seized members of the cartoonist’s family, using them as hostages while they uttered threats against him. Then one of the intruders hit Obe Ess hard on the head with the butt of his revolver and was about to beat him when neighbours intervened and the intruders fled. One of them was shot as they fled.

Obe Ess was taken to hospital for treatment to his head injury. He then reported the attack to his newspaper.

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