The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today strongly condemned the bomb attack outside the offices of Cypriot news agency MC Digital Media.
Just after 2am on Wednesday morning, a home-made pipe bomb exploded at the entrance of the media network office, which hosts local online news outlet Cyprustimes.com and five other online sport, finance and show business titles.
No injuries were reported but the outside of the building in the southern Cypriot port city of Limassol suffered damage from the blast, which police said was caused by high power explosives, according to reports.
Christos Marangos, CEO of MC Digital Media, told IPI no one was in the building at the time of the explosion as editors usually left around midnight.
He said the network had never received threats in the past, adding: “we do not have any enemies, only good relationships with other media publishers and the government”.
Police are currently investigating to establish whether the motive for the attack was related to news coverage and are in the process of gathering material from neighbourhood CCTV, Marangos added.
“We call on the Cypriot authorities to immediately investigate this bomb attack to determine the motive – exhaustively considering any possible connection to journalistic work – and hold those responsible to account”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said.
Cyprustimes.com posted a statement on its website on Wednesday afternoon condemning with “outrage and disgust” the attempt to “intimidate” the media.
Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos condemned “any criminal act against freedom of the press, which is fundamental to our democracy”, according to local media.
Limassol police chief Ioannis Soteriades was quoted in Cypriot media saying that early investigations are underway.
MC Digital Media’s network owns Cyprustimes.com, celebrity website showbizcyprus.com, sports and football website protathlima.com, beauty and fashion magazine ladytimes.com.cy and the Cyprus Fantasy League (CFL).