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Cypriot journalists express solidarity with Sener Levent
2003-05-06 10:59:53

Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- As Turkish Cypriot journalist Sener Levent, persecuted by the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime, was again today denied access to the government controlled areas, his Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot colleagues marched from Ledra Palace check point into the UN-controlled buffer zone to express their solidarity with him and condemn the continuing inhuman behaviour by Ankara and the ocupation regime towards Levent.

In a resolution for the Secretary General Kofi Annan, handed to an UNFICYP officer by the President of the Cyprus Journalists Union (CJU) Andreas Kannaouros, journalists call on the UN, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe and other organisations ''to make urgent and drastic representations to the Turkish Government and the (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash regime for immediate termination of the brutal hostage status of Sener Levent, respect for the freedom of press and freedom of expression in the Turkish Cypriot community, for the termination of the inhumane forcible partition and for the reunification of Cyprus and its people''.|

They also expressed fervent support to the appeal of Sener Levent to international and European organisations and bodies to denounce the action of an illegal regime to keep him hostage and to demand that his freedom and personal rights as equal citizen of the internationally recognized Cyprus state should be safeguarded.

Journalists carried pickets with slogans as ''An end should be put to the fascist hostage status of T/C journalist Sener Levent'', ''To Denktash: ''Respect the human rights of Sener Levent'', ''Sener Levent: I am a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus and I want to move and express myself freely'' ''To Denktash: Respect the freedoms and rights of T/C journalists''.

Handing over the resolution, Kannaouros stressed that ''we expect that the UN can and should do more, not only about this, but generally for terminating this forcible partition of the island and for the reunification of Cyprus and its people.''

He also noted that the ease of restrictions on free movement ''is a good development but not the solution of the problem.''

In a message conveyed to his colleagues by Memdouh Ener, who had been illegally imprisoned with Levent for six months by the Turkish Cypriot regime, Levent expressed his thanks to them and underlined that ''the Cyprus people will never be able to be really free if we are not liberated from the occupation and Denktash.''

Kannaouros told Ener to convey to Levent his colleagues' feelings of solidarity underlying that ''we do everything we can at home and internationally and we are determined to continue this struggle and surely we sill lead the problem to European courts and we will stand by Levent, his paper Africa and other Turkish Cypriot journalists.''

Levent's brother Mehmet, who was among the journalists who crossed the divide to attend the protest, said his brother tried once again today to enter the government-control areas of the Republic but the so-called ''authorities'' did not allow him to pass through their ''check point'' as he is considered as ''under detention''.

Greek Cypriot politicians who also attended the protest - President of Socialdemocrats Yiannakis Omirou, New Horizons President Nicos Koutsou and General Secretary of Ecologists-Environmentalists Movement (Greek Party) Giorgos Perdikis expressed their solidarity with Levent and their support to efforts for the termination of his persecution.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

CNA/MK/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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