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Political Party Militants Attack Injure Journalist

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POLITICAL PARTY MILITANTS ATTACK AND INJURE JOURNALIST
http://www.seapabkk.org

BANGKOK (SEAPA/Pacific Media Watch) - In a violence-marred presidential election campaign in Timor Leste (East Timor), militants from the incumbent party assaulted a journalist for taking their photographs while they were being searched at a security checkpoint, reports the Timor Leste Journalists Association (TLJA), a SEAPA partner based in the capital city, Dili.

On 26 March 2007, Carlito Soares of the "Timor Post" newspaper was beaten by members of a FRETILIN convoy, which had been forced to stop at a checkpoint manned by the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) near Gleno, Ermera district, 40 kilometres west of Dili. Following the attack, Soares was hospitalised overnight with a broken arm.

TLJA President Virgilio Guterres said the incident should not have happened. He said the press is entitled to cover the presidential campaign and called for an investigation into the attack.

He appealed to political parties and presidential candidates not to use violence against the media as that constitutes an attack on freedom of expression.

The nation will vote for a new president on April 9.

* For further information, contact Roby Alampay, Executive Director, or Chuah Siew Eng, Alerts Coordinator, at SEAPA, 538/1 Samsen Road, Dusit, Bangkok, 10300 Thailand, tel: +662 243 5579, fax: +662 244 8749, e-mail: sieweng@seapa.org, seapa@seapabkk.org, Internet: http://www.seapabkk.org

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