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Cyprus scores high in press freedom report

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Cyprus scores high in press freedom report

Postby Sotos » Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:13 pm

CYPRUS has been ranked a respectable 25th in the 2005 report on press freedom worldwide, jumping 58 places since the 2003 report, compiled annually by the international organisation Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

Cyprus does not appear on the 2004 list.

On the list of 167 countries for 2005, Cyprus is placed in the same position as Namibia and Benin but also ranks ahead of France in 30th place, Australia in 31st place, Spain in 40th place, Italy in 42nd place and the US in 44th.

The Turkish-controlled north of the island came in at 53rd place, some 30 places up from the previous report, while Turkey ranked 98th, also deemed an improvement, and Greece clocked in 18th along with Germany and Belgium.

The US was the biggest surprise in this year’s report, dropping from 22nd place last year. It now falls behind El Salvador, Cape Verde, South Africa, Jamaica, South Korea, Hong Kong, Costa Rica and Macedonia.

According to the report, North Korea again came bottom of the list. It was closely followed by Eritrea and Turkmenistan, which were described by RWB as “black holes” for news, where a privately owned media is not allowed and freedom of expression does not exist.

Commenting on the slippage of some of the Western democracies, RWB said the US drop was mainly attributed to the imprisonment of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and legal moves undermining the privacy of journalistic sources.

Canada, at 21st place also fell several places due to decisions that weakened the privacy of sources and sometimes turned journalists into “court auxiliaries”.

France also slipped, largely because of searches of media offices, interrogations of journalists and introduction of new press offences.

Top of the list jointly at number one were Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands, “where robust press freedom is firmly established”, the report said.
The top ten are followed by New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The highest-ranked countries may all be European, but the press freedom gap is widening between member-states of the European Union,” the report said.

“Poland (53rd), for example, slipped nearly 20 places this year, mainly because a journalist was heavily fined for “offensive remarks” about the Pope, “a taboo subject”.
It said an investigative journalist on the satirical weekly Nie also faces between three months and five years in prison for refusing to reveal his sources.

“His computer hard-drive was put under legal seal at his home on June 23, depriving him of his work equipment for several months,” the report added.

It said Spain received a poor ranking largely because of continued threats to journalists by ETA Basque militants.

In Italy a search of the offices of the daily Corriere della Sera last May, after it printed a report about the use of Italian Beretta pistols in Iraq, showed how strong the temptation still was to violate the secrecy of journalistic sources.

The position of the United Kingdom is due to the situation in Northern Ireland, where journalists continue to be threatened by paramilitary groups.

Not bad for Cyprus 8)
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Postby Piratis » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:14 am

Where is Bg_turk to read this? He is often looking for some incidents to "prove" how bad Greece or Cyprus are, claiming that Greece/Cyprus should not complain about Turkey. What such people intentionally fail to see is that one thing is not to perfect (yes we are not) but the difference between 18/25th place and 98th place is huge.
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Postby bg_turk » Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:41 pm

Piratis wrote:Where is Bg_turk to read this? He is often looking for some incidents to "prove" how bad Greece or Cyprus are, claiming that Greece/Cyprus should not complain about Turkey. What such people intentionally fail to see is that one thing is not to perfect (yes we are not) but the difference between 18/25th place and 98th place is huge.


Hi Piratis, I am here.
I never claimed turkey had a good press freedom record, in fact I think it is pretty bad with all the restrictions on armenian question, milllitary, islamic issues, kurdish problem, though things have been improving gradually and slowly.
What I have claimed is that the minority freedoms and rights record in Greece is one of the worst in Europe, and in many respects it is similar to that in Turkey. It is just enough to talk to a few albanians, slavs and turks about their situation in greece, and you will see how bad things are.
Anyway, I hope both Turkey and Greece improve their minority records. But in terms of press freedom Turkey has a lot to learn from Greece. I dont even read the major turkish newspapers like SABAH, Milliyet,e etc. - all seem to be so biased. I like the Radikal newspaper, it is the most liberal and democratically oriented one.
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Postby Piratis » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:31 am

OK.
My point here is that these things are not either black or white. In the case of minority record for example Greece would not be number 1, it might be number 30 or 40 or 50. However Turkey would be 90 or 100. When they will make a similar thing for minority record then we will see the difference. Personally I am willing to bet you as much as you want that Greece would be in a much better place than Turkey in such a report ;)
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Postby bg_turk » Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:24 am

Piratis wrote:OK.
My point here is that these things are not either black or white. In the case of minority record for example Greece would not be number 1, it might be number 30 or 40 or 50. However Turkey would be 90 or 100. When they will make a similar thing for minority record then we will see the difference. Personally I am willing to bet you as much as you want that Greece would be in a much better place than Turkey in such a report ;)

In Turkey there is a private kurdish school for ethnic kurd who wish to learn their language, how about slavs in Greece?
In Turkey kurds can listen live on national tv in their native language, how about slavs in Greece?
In Turkey kurds are free to speak in kurdish on the street without any incidents, how about slavs in Greece?

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Postby sophisticatedbeggar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:14 am

bg_turk> I dunno when was the last time you visited Greece/ Athens but sometimes your writings puzzle me...

I'm not going to defend the country I live in (I am the first to say that there are FAR TOO MANY problems in Greece and Athens specifically and I'm more than willing and happy to discuss this with you if you so wish) but to compare Greece to Turkey as far as it concerns democratic values and respect of basic human rights is kind of strange...

Right now we have about 1.500.000 immigrants in Greece, both legal and illegal immigrants (more than 1 out of 10 was not born in Greece or has foreign roots). In Athens there are Albanian schools (I know this for a fact as the family next door is Albanian). There are also Polish schools, Philippine schools and I understand it is not difficult to organise a foreign school in Athens if there is demand...

By the way many foreigners prefer to send them kids to Greek speaking schools alone so that the kids fully adapt to their new enviroment. So, it makes me wonder where you got the idea that we "chase" foreign" schools (or don't allow foreigners to operate such schools)...

Greek television; I have come across news in Albanian and Russian in some greek tv channels... don't know how popular they are but we do have a national radio station broadcasting news and various programs in many languages (in Bulgarian and Turkish included in case you're interested)... Do you have similar Greek language programs in Bulgarian or Turkish tv/radio stations? If so please do let me know... btw it's called "Filia/Friendship" and the link is:

http://www.ert.gr/radio/program.asp?id=18

Also, where did you get the idea that only the Greek language is spoken in Greece and any other language is forbidden/abolished and speaking a foreign language may put you in trouble??!?!? Good Lord, this is a nice one... The only thing you need to do is ride a bus in downtown Athens and its many suburbs and then you realise that Albanian, Russian, Indian (many dialects I suppose ;O)), Pakistani, broken English, Thai, Indonesian, African dialects, Polish, Arabian, Chinese etc etc (truly TOO many to mention here) are sometimes the only languages spoken!!

There are certain areas in Athens where on the streets or in the bus/train you barely hear Greek spoken!

Also, check out Omonia Square (right in the centre of Athens) if you wish to see where all these people are heading... Foreign press available in Greek kiosks, numerous shops operated by foreigners... Where did you get the idea that we chase these people? Are my Albanian neighbours chased? How about the Romanian fellow and the Egyptians who lives on the ground floor? And the Chinese across the street? The Russians on the third floor? The Pakistanis and the Indians just a couple blocks away from where I live? Do you realise that Greece has the highest immigration rate among all EU countries the last 15 years compared to its size? Surely we are not perfect (far from it!!) but to say that we chase people on the street because they speak their native language is more than absurd...!

So, pray tell, when was the last time you visited Greece?
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Postby sophisticatedbeggar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:21 am

Oh almost forgot... you get to hear Bulgarian spoken on the streets of Athens as well you know (and to my knowledge no Bulgarian has ever been chased for commiting such a "horrendous crime")...

Now how many Greeks enjoy the freedom to speak and learn Greek in Turkey (and don't tell me about the very few elderly Greeks who live in Istanbul)?
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Postby Sotos » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:14 pm

bg_turk has something against the Greeks. Why is that bg_turk? Is this something personal?
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Postby sophisticatedbeggar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Sotos wrote:bg_turk has something against the Greeks. Why is that bg_turk? Is this something personal?


I too have noticed that bg_turk keeps making remarks about Greece's human rights record...

But like I said I am sure he hasn't visited Greece in eons so he doesn't know things have changed a lot since the last time he visited...

Or perhaps he was mistreated at some point in Greece and consequently he thinks we're all [email protected] But then again this would make him an out-and-out racist which hopefully he ain't (unless he is?)...
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Postby bg_turk » Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:07 pm

Sotos wrote:bg_turk has something against the Greeks. Why is that bg_turk? Is this something personal?

Dear Sotos,

I have nothing personal against greeks. In fact I like greek culture (the part that is not stolen by the bulgarians :-) ), I would like to learn greek, and in general I like to listen to greek music. I like my greek professors as well.

I have nothing personal against greeks, but I hate their superiority complex, shauvinism, attitude of being a superbalkan state, and I hate the crimes they have comitted against the people of the Balkans. Of course I am not naive enough to believe that all greeks are evil, and the bulgarians and turks were angels, but still I hold my grudge against the greek state and the extreme nationalism that it promotes amongst its citizens.
I have been reading the Carnegie report recently and to be honest I was shocked by the autrocities of greeks comitted against innocent slav villages in the north of the country, which has also fueled my recent outburst in this forum.

Ελληνες στρατιώτες περιγράφουν ανατριχιαστικές ωμότητες σε γράμματα που έστειλαν στους δικούς τους

"...Εβγαζαν τα μάτια Βουλγάρων αιχμαλώτων με σκαρπέλλο...."


Image
another one of the sickening nationalistic propaganda postcard of the era, depicting a greek soldier removing the eyes of a bulgarian one



"Εδώ στην Ροντού (Βροντού) έπιασα πέντε Βούλγαρους από τις Σέρρες και ένα κορίτσι. Σκοτώσαμε το κορίτσι και βγάλαμε τα μάτια των Βουλγάρων όσο ήσαν ακόμα ζωντανοί"

"Δώσαμε μιά μικρή μάχη κοντά στον Στρυμώνα με πρόσφυγες από το Κιλκίς και τον Λαχανά. Τα κανόνια μας τους έκαναν κομμάτια καθώς προσπαθούσαν να ξεφύγουν"

"Σφάξαμε όλους τους Βούλγαρους αιχμάλωτους που έπεσαν στα χέρια μας και κάψαμε τα χωριά τους"

"Μου έδωσαν 16 αιχμαλώτους να τους μεταφέρω στην Μεραρχία. Παρέδωσα μόνο τους δύο. Σκότωσα όλους τους άλλους μόλις νύχτωσε"

"Ούτε οι γάτες δεν μπορούσαν να μας ξεφύγουν. Καίγαμε όλα τα Βουλγαρικά χωριά που συναντούσαμε"

"Βάλαμε φωτιά σε όλα τα Βουλγαρικά χωριά από τις Σέρρες μέχρι τα Βουλγαρικά σύνορα"

"Από τους 1.200 αιχμαλώτους που πιάσαμε στην Νιγρίτα μόνο 41 έμειναν ζωντανοί, από όπου περάσαμε δεν αφήναμε ούτε μία ρίζα από τούτη την φυλή"

"Εδώ βάζουμε φωτιά στα χωριά και σκοτώνουμε τους Βούλγαρους, γυναίκες και παιδιά"

"Με διαταγή του βασιλέως Κωνσταντίνου βάλαμε φωτιά σε όλα τα Βουλγαρικά χωριά. Οφείλουμε να δείξουμε μεγαλύτερη σκληρότητα από τους Βούλγαρους"

"Στην περιοχή αυτή κάψαμε τα χωριά και σκοτώσαμε όλους τους Βούλγαρους μαζί με τις γυναίκες και τα παιδιά τους"

"Κρατήσαμε μόνο λίγους αιχμάλωτους τους οποίους στην συνέχεια σκοτώσαμε σύμφωνα με τις διαταγές που είχαμε"

"Κάψαμε τα χωριά τους σύμφωνα με τις διαταγές και σκοτώσαμε όλους τους κατοίκους"

"Με διαταγή του βασιλιά Κωνσταντίνου καίγαμε τα Βουλγαρικά χωριά και βιάζαμε τις γυναίκες τους"


sophisticatedbeggar wrote:
But like I said I am sure he hasn't visited Greece in eons so he doesn't know things have changed a lot since the last time he visited...

Or perhaps he was mistreated at some point in Greece and consequently he thinks we're all [email protected] But then again this would make him an out-and-out racist which hopefully he ain't (unless he is?)...

sophisticatedbeggar, I am sophisticated enough not to full into dumb generalizations about greeks. I am just trying to show the dark side of your greek history, that you seem to hold so dear.
I have visited greece in 2002. I have been to Thessaloniki and Xhanti. I met many turks in the country and there was an atmosphere of suppression. We spoke turkish and bulgarian in our group and while walking on the streets it was clear that the attitutude of the people was somewhat awkward. I was verbally assaulted by some group of tenagers, but i did not understand what they said so I hope it is not something too bad. But on a different note I also met many nice greeks as well, one of them could actually some turkish :-)

Any way I welcome the atmosphere of friendship and tolerance in the Balkans, and I welcome every progress made by Greece in its human rights record. I hope one day we will have common history textbooks and we will all know about the horrible crimes we have all comitted against each other, and learn for the sake of our children never again to fall into the trap of nationalism.
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