2004 EFJ Resolution on Journalistic Freedom in Cyprus

Tabled by the Union of Cyprus Journalists


The EFJ General Meeting having been informed by the Union of Cyprus Journalists about the situation in Cyprus:


1.Expressed profound concern and protest over the continuing persecution of Turkish Cypriot journalists in the northern part of Cyprus, which is under the control of the Turkish army and the Administration of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Rauf Denktash. A number of prominent Turkish Cypriot journalists working and writing in opposition Turkish Cypriot newspapers, were taken before Turkish military courts and charged with "insulting" and "undermining" the so - called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" and the Turkish army and the prosecutor asked for up to 21 years imprisonment for each one. Others were threatened with death or attacked and beaten by gangs of the Turkish terrorist organization "Grey Wolves" aiming at silencing them.


2.Called for the termination of the persecution of Turkish Cypriot journalists and for safeguarding and respect of the freedom of Press and expression in the Turkish Cypriot community.


3.Denounced the unacceptable obstacles and conditions imposed by the administration of Mr. Rauf Denktash and the Turkish army in the northern part of Cyprus regarding the right to free movement of journalists - as well as of all citizens of the country - and urged for the removal of any obstacle to free movement and for restoration of the unity of the island.


4.Declared its support to the demand and efforts of the Union of Cyprus Journalists for liberalization of the Penal Code, the Legislation on Libel and certain other Laws of the Republic of Cyprus by revising or abolishing a number of provisions which constitute a danger and threat to press freedom and put barriers to transparency and to the journalists' right to free accession to state sources of information.