The International Press Institute (IPI) was saddened today to learn of the death of Radio Be Oko journalist Elisabeth Blanche Olofio in the Central African Republic, who succumbed to injuries she reportedly sustained in January 2013.
According to the Community Radio Association (ARC), Seleka rebels attacked and destroyed Olofio’s home on Jan. 4, 2013 in response to her “sharp tongue.” Olofio fled, but rebels confronted her and beaten by rebels her when she returned to her village. Olofio was hit on the head and lost consciousness; she was taken to a nearby village for treatment.
ARC initially reported her death on Jan 7, 2013. Family members and NGO representatives found Olofio alive, but injured, after travelling to her village to attend her funeral. She was taken to the capital city of Bangui for treatment. Reports indicate that she died from her injuries on Sunday.
IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi said: “We are saddened by the death of Elisabeth Blanche Olofio, which illustrates the continued danger that journalists around the world continue to face. We urge authorities to bring her attackers to justice and we call on all parties in the Central African Republic to respect the independent role that journalists play and their right to work in safety.”