Argentina: Amnesty International demands investigation into death threats against journalist

The organisation wants UK journalists to support Clara Britos by demanding that the Argentine authorities protect her and her family, allowing Britos to perform her work without threats and harassment.

Clara Britos, has been continuously subjected to death threats and intimidation by the local authorities following the publication of an article in her newspaper that highlighted corruption.

Since 14 February 2003, Clara Britos has received a number of telephone calls and messages that contain the same threats: 'we are going to kill your Children's rights first', 'we are going to kill you - watch out'. She was violently approached by three individuals who threatened to kill her and her family and had stones thrown at her house on several occasions.

Amnesty International believes that she has been a victim of police repression. Britos reported on a demonstration against the impunity of the police force following the alleged murder of two unemployed workers in a demonstration in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires Province last year.

Although Clara Britos received police protection on 25 February 2003, no police investigation has been initiated regarding the threats she has received. There is also increasing concern that no action has been taken on the judicial complaints she has filed. Clara Britos is now considering leaving Argentina to seek asylum.

Increasing reports from Argentina show that journalists in the country are often faced with threats and intimidation as they investigate the alleged involvement of public officials in corruption.

Stephen Bowen, Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director said: 'Threats, harassment and attacks on journalists for speaking out against the involvement of public officials in corruption must stop. We are committed to campaign on Clara Britos' behalf to exercise her rights to freedom of expression in Argentina.'

Amnesty International is asking UK journalists once again to write to the authorities in Argentina emphasising her rights to freedom of expression. The first appeal for urgent action was made on 4 April but the continuous threats and attacks regardless of the police protection provided to Britos and her family have prompted this latest appeal. (details below).

Members of Amnesty International's Journalists Network take action on behalf of colleagues under threat. Any journalist interested in joining the Network should contact Amnesty International .

UK journalists wanting to support this action should write to:

Governor of Buenos Aires Province
Sr. Gobernador de la Province de Buenos Aires
Ing.Felipe Carlos Sola
Casa de Gobierno
Calle 6 Entre 51/53
1900 La Plata
Prov. Buenos Aires , Argentina
Telegrams: Governor, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Fax: 00 54 221 429 4189

Minister of Justice and Security of Buenos Aires Province
St. Ministro de Justicia y Segurudad de la Provincia de Buenos Aires
Dr Juan Pablo Cafiero
Calle 2 e/51 y 53
1900 La Plata
Prov.Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telegrams: Minister of Justice and Security, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Fax: 00 54 221 429 3187/3188

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