European Journalists Demand Justice over Targeted Killing in Cyprus

The

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has demanded that the Turkish

government and the authorities in the north of Cyprus

renew their investigation into the killing of journalist Kutlu Adali who is

thought to have been targeted by Turkish security agents or unknown assassins

of the administration in the northern part of Cyprus.

Adali,

a political columnist with the leftist daily Yeni Duzen who opposed the

division of Cyprus,

was shot dead outside his home in the island's divided capital of Nicosia on July 6, 1996.

He had received work-related threats prior to his murder.

The

EFJ meeting of journalists' leaders in Varna,

Bulgaria, at

the weekend responded to an appeal from its members in Basin Sen, representing

journalists in the northern part of the island, to protest to the authorities

over reports that they had closed the file on the investigation without finding

the killers. The case has been on the agenda of European journalists for some

years and was highlighted at a similar conference in Bilbao in April 2005.

The

controversial handling of the case has troubled journalists on both sides of

the border and led to a ruling by the European Court for Human Rights in 2005

that Turkish authorities had failed to conduct an effective investigation into

the murder of journalist and ordered the government to pay 20,000 Euros (US

$26,000) in damages to his wife Ilkay Adali.

She

sought damages in 1997 from the Turkish government, which maintains effective

control over the northern part of the island claiming that the authorities

ordered the killing. However the European court said there was not enough

evidence to conclude that security agents were involved in the murder.

"This

case must not be closed until justice has been delivered," said Arne Konig,

President of the EFJ. "It is a scandal that so many years after a brutal and

targeted assassination, there is an attempt to quietly close the file. Turkey and the authorities in the north of Cyprus

must take their responsibility and put new efforts into finding the killers."

The

record of the police investigation into the case is a tale of incompetence and

wilful disregard for justice, says the EFJ. The European Court had found that the authorities

failed to "investigate the possibility that the murder had any link to his

work as a journalist" and that much of the inquiry " was conducted

only after the applicant's case before the European Court had been communicated to

the Turkish government."

Adali's wife is still campaigning vigorously for justice, but she was informed in

writing that the case was closed by the office of the public prosecutor in the

north of the island.

"The

shadow of injustice, impunity and scandalous disregard for the rights of

journalists hangs over this case and this must be put right," said König.

For more information contact the EFJ

at   +32 2 235 2202

The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists

in 30 countries