EU Commission regrets violence by protesters against Afrika’s offices, Hahn tells MEPs

The European Commission is aware of the intimidation of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika and regrets the violence being put out by protesters against the newspapers offices, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn has said in a written response to a question submitted by MEPs.

“Harassment and intimidation of journalists constitutes a violation of freedom of expression, in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,” Han points out.

The question was submitted by Cypriot MEP of the Socialists and Democrats Group Demetris Papadakis, as well as 13 MEPs of the United Left Group, including Cypriot MEPs Takis Hadjigeorgiou and Neoklis Silikiotis, and concerned the attacks against Afrikas office in the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, on January 22, 2018.

In his written reply, Hahn also noted that in his speech on the state of the Union on 13 September 2017, President Jean Claude Juncker urged Turkey to release journalists and to give the highest priority to the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights.

“The Commission will continue to monitor the issue, put it to the appropriate counterparts, and highlight the utmost importance of freedom of expression in boosting confidence between the two Cypriot communities,” the Commissioner noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency