Journalists Condemn “Intimidation” as Turkish Cypriot Forces Detain TV Team

The International Federation of Journalists and its European network the European Federation of Journalists today called for the immediate release of two journalists subject to “intolerable and unacceptable intimidation” while covering events in the northern part of Cyprus.

Reporter Adonis Pallikarides and cameraman Nikitas Dalitis of the private SIGMA TV covered an event involving a Turkish Cypriot politician and former president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce who called for the demolition of a bridge built by the Turkish army being the obstacle to opening a new crossing point at a commercial street of Nicosia, on the demand of both communities.

The two journalists were arrested when they started interviewing Turkish Cypriot shopkeepers near the bridge. They were accused of videotaping military installations, detained overnight on Friday and were held before appearing before a court today.

“These journalists should be freed immediately and all charges against them lifted,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “It is another case of intolerable and unacceptable intimidation of colleagues who are trying to carry out legitimate journalistic work.”

The IFJ and European Federation of Journalists have supported protests of its member organisation the Union of Cyprus Journalists which has accused Turkish occupation forces in the northern part of Cyprus of three serious cases of such violations over the past two months when Greek Cypriot journalists have been arrested while covering events in the northern part of Cyprus, controlled since 1974 by Turkish military forces.

The president of the Union Andreas Kannaouros says in previous cases the arrested Greek Cypriot journalists were quickly released after being punished, but this is the first time a further detention had been ordered. Turkish Cypriot journalists in the north of the country, represented by the IFJ-affiliated Basin Sen also condemned the arrests demanded the release of the two journalists.

For further information contact the IFJ: +32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries