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Mon, 31 Jul 2006

If you question the situation of media, you may lose your access to it.

Sevgul Uludag wrote an article on July, 5th 2006 and this week-end (~July 29th) she distributed the following note:
"With this article, which was not published by Fileleftheros, I was told to `consider myself fired from the newspaper and not to send any more articles`. The efforts of the Cyprus Journalists’ Union to have a face-to-face meeting with Fileleftheros about the issue also failed. Fileleleftheros also refused to publish the article, even after the paragraph about Michalides was offered to be removed from the article."

The gist of the matter is that in Cyprus media is heavily controlled by political party affiliations and some (let's say) "traditional" alliances. Alternative magazines, news-sources flourish from time to time (for example see Hamamboculeri.Org that I am involved in) but they are generally marginal in their audience and rely on the dedication of few individuals. Even newspapers such as Afrika/Avrupa that have a very turbulent history of bombings, court-cases, heavy governmental and non-governmental pressure can not really be treated as bastions of freedom of expression. There are cases of columnists being forced away, news-pieces/announcements censored for no good reason except that they challanged the pre-defined notions of those "in power" in the paper. This sad truth that I just outlined for the Turkish Cypriot community unfortunately extends to the Greek Cypriot media, i.e. the whole Cypriot population in general. It is kind of ironic that the article is about the mainstream media!

Full text of Sevgul's article follows.

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Fri, 21 Jul 2006

Xenophobia, Anti-Immigrant Stances do not discriminate between emergencies and daily life.
from Cyprus-Mail Government violating some war victims’ rights’
By John Leonidou

IMMIGRANT support group KISA yesterday accused certain government officials of violating the human rights of some Lebanese nationals either stranded on the island or not allowed to enter as temporary refugees of war.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, KISA Chairman Doros Polycarpou said they were getting reports of various incidents occurring around the island.

“We have had reports of some rights being abused by the government concerning Lebanese nationals and evacuees of the war in Lebanon. An incident occurred at one of the ports today in which government officials would not allow access into the island for two Lebanese men.”

According to Polycarpou, international law clearly states that evacuees who have been forced out of their homeland by war have the right to temporary refugee status until the problems in their homelands have been resolved.

It is this main issue that some government officials are clearly ignoring, claimed Polycarpou.

“In another case, three Lebanese musicians, visiting the island to take part in a musical event, were basically given no help from the Interior Ministry,” said Polycarpou.

“Not only did the Ministry not explain to them their rights – that they can claim temporary refugees of war – but also they would not refund them their ticket so they can at least have some little money so that they get about.”

In another incident, two Lebanese men were arrested for allegedly residing on the island and could face deportation.

“We know that at least one of the men has been in Cyprus for five years and has two children. As far as we know, so far one of the men has been released but the other is still in remand,” he added.

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Thu, 06 Jul 2006

On the isolation
Interesting commentary appeared in Cyprus-Mail about the issue of the "isolation". May be I do not agree with every details, some information is also missing but the gist is very important. Those (i.e. CTP et al) who are in "power" (as fake as it is to be in power while under occupation) found this as the buzz-word (i guess "embargo" was too obviously wrong so they did not pick that one up) and are putting it out as the "most important condition". the commentary is pasted below.

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