IFJ Condemns Violent Assault on Bahrain Editor

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the violent assault on Muhannad Abu Zaiton, managing editor of Alwatan newspaper by two unidentified men on Wednesday 26 August.

"We are deeply shocked by this vicious assault and possible assassination attempt against a leading Bahraini journalist," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The authorities must do everything they can to bring the attackers to justice and guarantee the safety of Bahrain's journalists."

According to the Bahrain Journalists' Association (BJA), an IFJ affiliate, Abu Zaiton left his office yesterday afternoon and was walking to his car when the masked attackers struck. While one attacked the journalist with a sharp weapon, aiming at his heart and head, the other threw a Molotov cocktail at the car, setting it on fire.  Abu Zaiiton was left with an injured shoulder having fought off the attackers who then fled the scene.

The BJA issued a statement condemning the targeting of journalists who have been reporting on the growing violence in Bahrain.
"This attack mustn't pass without arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice" the Association said, adding "this attack will not stop the journalists from doing their noble mission."

The IFJ, which has opened an office in the kingdom to promote its Ethical  Journalism Initiative campaign is concerned that Bahraini journalists who are spearheading professional and independent journalism in the region may face intimidation from forces determined to hold them back.

"We support journalists in Bahrain as they assert their right to ethical and independent reporting," added White. "We assure them of our solidarity in their fight against all forms of violence and intimidation."

For more information contact the IFJ at   +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide