Arson attack on newspaper and two radio stations

New York, September 12, 2005 – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns yesterday’s arson attack on the offices of daily Diário de Marília and sister radio stations Diário FM and Dirceu AM in the city of Marilia, in the state of São Paulo.

José Ursílio, Diário de Marília‘s editor in chief, declined to speculate who could be behind the attack on the three outlets which are all owned by the Central Marília Notícias group.

A security camera caught four men—three with masks—and one woman, who overpowered a security guard. The men poured several gallons of gasoline on the second and third floors of the offices, completely destroying the radio stations’ studios and the newspaper’s production area. Diário de Marília still managed to publish although with half its normal print run, Ursílio said. The radio stations hoped to be back on air within 18 hours.

“We condemn this attack and call on the Brazilian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and find those responsible,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.