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Spain8 June 2008

ETA bombing of Basque daily firmly condemned

Five kilos of explosive were set off early today outside the daily El Correo’s premises in Zamudio, in Spain’s northern Basque region, destroying an external wall but not injuring any of the 50 employees inside. The Basque armed separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) is suspected.

“We firmly condemn ETA’s use of violence with the aim of intimidating and gagging news media and their employees and we urge the Spanish authorities to do everything possible to prevent this terrorist group from causing more harm and victims in the media,” Reporters Without Borders said.

El Correo deputy editor José Miguel Santamaria told Reporters Without Borders that ETA gave no warning. Referring to the measures that were in place to prevent this kind of attack, Santamaria said: “Despite the security measures, the terrorists even managed to penetrate the perimeter of our premises.”

Police think ETA planted the bomb against the external wall at the back of the building. The blast destroyed a wall that was more than a metre thick and part of the newspaper’s roof. Several nearby industrial buildings also sustained damage.

Vocento, the press group that owns El Correo, has already been the target of terrorist attacks, some of them deadly. Santiago Oleaga, the financial director of Diario Vasco, another newspaper owned by the group, was killed in a bombing in San Sebastian in May 2001.

El Correo ran an editorial today headlined “We will not be silenced” in which it condemned the pre-dawn bombing and reaffirmed its commitment to press freedom.

The Basque regional government’s spokesperson, Miren Azcarate, said the bombing “aimed to silence journalists who defend diversity in news and information within Basque society.”

On 3 May, Reporters Without Borders released a report about violence against journalists in several European Union countries including Spain’s Basque region. Read the report.




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Spain - Annual Report 2008
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