Berlin, March 10, 2020 — Authorities in Cyprus must quickly and thoroughly investigate the bomb attack at the offices of the Cyprus Times’ parent company, determine whether it was tied to the outlet’s journalism, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
At about 2:10 a.m. on March 4, a pipe bomb exploded outside the office of MC Digital Media Group, a building which houses the offices of the Cyprus Times news website as well as other media outlets owned by the group, in the southern Cypriot city of Limassol, according to news reports.
No one was injured in the blast, which broke windows at the office but did not cause extensive damage, according to a report by the Cyprus Times.
In a phone interview with CPJ, Cyprus Times editor-in-chief Myriella Avraamidou said she believed the attack was related to the outlet’s reporting, but said they had not received threats about any specific articles before the bombing.
“Cypriot authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the motives behind the bombing of MC Digital Media Group’s offices, and hold those responsible to account,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “Authorities must ensure journalists’ safety and guarantee that they can report on issues of public interest without fear or intimidation.”
Police have ruled out personal motivations for the attack, and are investigating how the bombing could have been tied to MC Digital Media Group outlets’ journalism, Avraamidou said.
Cyprus Times is an independent news outlet that covers local affairs and publishes investigative reporting, Avraamidou told CPJ. The other outlets owned by MC Digital Media Group cover specific topics such as sports, business, and lifestyle issues, she said.
The Cyprus police did not immediately reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment.