Letters - Reporters under fire

Bulent Yusuf's article about the closure of Egunkaria (Observations, 17 March) gives the impression that the threat to press freedom in the Basque country comes only from the Madrid government, the courts and the police. Sadly, this is not the case. In recent years, ETA has systematically targeted journalists who don't share its world-view, killing and wounding those who have criticised its campaign of terror. The Basque country is the only part of western Europe where reporters routinely employ bodyguards and where newspaper offices are high-security fortresses.

In May 2000, for example, an ETA gunman murdered a columnist for El Mundo who had spent five years in prison for his role in the anti-Franco resistance. In May 2001, a letter bomb maimed a radio journalist; six months later, an ETA bomb failed to explode outside the flat of El PaIs's San Sebastian correspondent; she, with her husband, a television reporter, has since been forced to leave the Basque country.

Stephen Hayward
London E3