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Media Watch 2006

30 August 2006
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 30 August 2006.
Greek Cypriot journalists boycott north in protest at arrests
"…journalists had the right under the UN charter to carry out their work unhindered. Since June, a number of Greek Cypriot journalists have been arrested in the north."

"GREEK Cypriot media yesterday announced a boycott of all events in the north for the next two weeks in response to a spate of arrests of journalists by the Turkish Cypriot side.

The decision was taken at a meeting yesterday between the Journalists Union, publishers and television channels.

For the next two weeks, Greek Cypriot journalists will not cross to the north to cover any events or activities because of the “brutal behaviour” of the Turkish forces, a statement issued after the meeting said.

The statement said journalists had the right under the UN charter to carry out their work unhindered.

Since June, a number of Greek Cypriot journalists have been arrested in the north. Two from state television CyBC were arrested last month, followed by two from Sigma last Friday who were only released on Monday.

Just prior to their release, another two journalists were arrested on Monday, one Greek Cypriot with French citizenship and a French national.

All have been accused of filming in military zones.

"Journalists cannot be arrested or persecuted for doing their duty," said Andreas Kannaouros, president of the Journalists’ Union. He said the situation appeared to be getting worse. "It is an attempt at embedding the image they are trying to push that a separate state exists in the occupied areas,” he added.

Yesterday’s statement also called on the UN, the EU and other international organisations to demand the protection of journalists.

“This request will be taken to meetings we are seeking with the representatives of the UN and the EU in Nicosia, and with the ambassadors of the permanent members of the Security Council,” said the statement.

A meeting will also be sought with President Tassos Papadopoulos and House President Demetris Christofias on the issue.

“The occupying regime has declared open war with the kidnapping over the past two months of personnel from three television channels who were carrying out their journalistic work,” said the statement.

The Turkish Cypriot side says the Sigma journalists were aware they were within a military zone."