Bomb Injures Eight Journalists in Macau

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September 8, 1998

 

Governor General Vasco Rocha Vieira
Governor General of Macau
Av. da Praia Grande
Governor's Palace, MACAU

 

Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is greatly alarmed by a bomb attack that injured ten journalists in Macau on Tuesday. We fear that this attack may have been the work of criminal syndicates attempting to intimidate reporters investigating their activities.

A bomb placed inside a motorcycle exploded early on Tuesday in Macau, injuring 10 journalists and four policemen who had been drawn to the site to investigate another small blast just minutes earlier. Police sources were quoted in news reports saying that the second bomb may have been triggered by remote control.

The incident follows a string of bombings in Macau, but this is the first one that may have targeted journalists specifically. The 10 injured journalists all worked for television stations and newspapers in Hong Kong or Macau. Police described the attack as a "two-pronged act of organized crime intimidation against police and journalists." None of the journalists' injuries were reported to be life-threatening.

In recent years, violence has escalated in Macau, apparently as a result of so-called "triad" crime syndicates competing over gambling revenues. Macau Judiciary Police spokesman Inspector Man Hao blamed the syndicates for the incident, telling reporters, "They were trying to hit two targets. One was the police and the other the press. The police because of the work we have been doing and the files we have lodged in court against them. The press because it is their responsibility to report the truth which can damage the (triad) societies."

We share the concern of our colleagues in the Macau Journalists' Union who denounced the violence and urged the police and government authorities in Macau to investigate this incident quickly and thoroughly. As an organization of journalists dedicated to the defense of our colleagues worldwide, we urge the government of Macau to do everything within its power to see that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice as soon as possible.

We look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ann K. Cooper

Executive Director



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Governor General Vasco Rocha Vieira
Governor General of Macau
Av. da Praia Grande
Governor's Palace
MACAU

Fax: (853) 563-377