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Reporters Without Borders says new EU members respect press

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Reporters Without Borders says new EU members respect press

Postby Piratis » Mon May 03, 2004 2:00 am

People that live in the Republic of Cyprus do not need others to tell us that press freedom is respected since this is obvious.
Unfortunately some foreigners took advantage of what some politicians that don't know how to loose said in order to hurt Cyprus.

The 10 nations in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean that joined the European Union at the weekend largely respected press freedom during 2003, Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report released Monday.

In the self-styled Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, recognised only by Ankara, RSF noted that press freedom had "sharply declined" during 2003.

"The authorities cracked down on journalists who criticised the government of president Rauf Denktash. Five journalists were facing between 10 and 40 years in prison for 'insulting the army',"

Turkey, another long-time EU candidate, also came in for criticism, with armed forces chief of staff Hilmi Ozkok named by RSF as a "predator of press freedom."

"Working conditions remained very difficult for journalists in Turkey despite some legislative improvements to boost the country's chances of EU membership," the Paris-based press freedom advocate said.

"Pro-Kurdish journalists and those who criticised the government or the role of the armed forces in political life continued to be extensively harassed," it said, adding that four journalists were currently in prison.

Army chief Ozkok was dubbed as a predator in his capacity as a member of the National Security Council, a body that gives the military a permanent say in Turkey's political affairs and its news media.

Long rebuked by the EU for its shaky democracy, Turkey was only formally declared a candidate in 1999, decades after it first signed an association agreement with the European Community in the 1960s.
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