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RSF demands immediate release of T/C journalists
2002-08-13 10:26:56

By Kyriacos Tsioupras-- London, Aug 13 (CNA) -- The international organisation "Reporters Sans Frontiers" (RSF) has demanded the immediate release of the editor-in-chief of Turkish Cypriot daily "Afrika", formerly "Avrupa", Sener Levent and journalist Memduh Ener, who were found "guilty" of "libel" against Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the Turkish occupation army and "motherland" Turkey, and given a six-month "jail sentence" each.

RSF's General Secretary Robert Menard says in a letter to Denktash that their incarceration is "worthy of the worst regimes".

According to a report in London's "Guardian" by the newspaper's correspondent in Athens, Helena Smith, under the title "Denktash under fire after Cypriot journalists jailed", Menard notes that "Avrupa" has endured "attacks, death threats, confiscation of equipment and fines". |

All these methods, he adds, "have failed to silence 'Afrika', which has never hesitated to criticise the policies implemented by the Turkish Cypriot 'authorities' of northern Cyprus".

In articles, Levent and Ener advocated a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus question and expressed support for the island's accession to the European Union, saying that Denktash is wasting time at the ongoing UN-led peace talks.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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