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Media group calls for investigation into looting in Namibia

Investigative journalist and FAIR member John Grobler, who has been investigating privatisation and expropriation of holiday resorts by powerful individuals in Namibia has been threatened,…

Investigative journalist and FAIR member John Grobler, who has been investigating privatisation and expropriation of holiday resorts by powerful individuals in Namibia has been threatened, slandered and attacked since he started to publish his reports and findings in the prestigious daily, The Namibian.

“The wounds of the last attack are healing nicely and I am in high spirits to continue”, Grobler, who is preparing a comprehensive final report on the looting, said. “They are not going to kill this story.”

FAIR’s call for other journalists and media houses to start looking at the same topic and also to report on Groblers’ work is inspired by what FAIR calls its’s ‘Arizona strategy’. ‘There was a case in  Arizona, USA, where a journalist was murdered by people connected to a story he was investigating”, FAIR director Evelyn Groenink said. “Immediately when that happened, colleagues from all over the USA, rallied by the investigative reporters’ association IRE, came to Arizona to finish the story. In the end the murderers achieved the opposite of what they had wanted, They had wanted to kill the story, but the story was now published all over the country instead of just by one journalist.” Groenink said that FAIR would adopt the same strategy whenever there was a journalist under threat or attack because of a story that someone wanted to be silenced. “In John Grobler’s case, it is clear that powerful people, instead of raising their objections to John’s reports in a peaceful way –which they can do in the media or in the courts- are out to intimidate and hurt him. The more they do that, the more we, as a network of over a 100 investigative reporters, will give publicity to his story.”

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