18. Press Freedom in Cyprus
Proposed: Union of Cyprus Journalists
The 24th IFJ Congress, meeting in Seoul on June 11th to June 15th, 2001
Recalling the resolution on Cyprus adopted by the 23rd IFJ World Congress and having in mind that the island continues to be forcibly divided for 26 years now and its people to be deprived of fundamental human rights including that of the freedom of movement and settlement,
Expresses its concern about this situation, which constitutes also a serious threat to peace and security in the broader area of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East;
Declares its support to the United Nations’s efforts to find a just and fair settlement of the problem, which will restore the unity of Cyprus and its people, ensure human rights for all Cypriots, irrespective of ethnic origin and religion and will contriobute t strengthening stability in a very senstive area.
The Congress also
Refers to the report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Cyprus (14-18 July 2000) regarding the persecution of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper AVRUPA, its Editor-in-Chief Shener Levent and other journalists by the turkish cypriot administration of Mr Rauf Denktash and the Turkish armyu controlling North Cyprus and expresses its profound concern and dismay over this case of flagrant violation of press freedom;
Takes into consideration the “overwhelming conclusion” of the Fact-Finding mission that the persecution and prosecution of AVRUPA and its journalists “is driven by political motives”, that their “crime” is that they “carry too much influence and that they are too critical and independent in their opinion” and that “it is clear that AVRUPA serves its readers and community well and is guilty only of defending the highest principles of independent journalism”.
Having at the same time been informed that the situation regaring AVRUPA has not changed, as clearly indicated by new bombing and other attacks and threats against the newspaper during recent weeks, the Congress
Condemns the persecution of the newspaper and its Editor-in-Chief,
demands that it should stop immediately and
calls on the leadership and the members of IFJ to do what they can to this end.