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Cyprus20 October 2003

Journalist beaten up by members of ultra-nationalist Turkish Cypriot group

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the beating received by newspaper editor Murat Kanatli from members of an ultra-nationalist group on 17 October in Nicosia and urged the authorities to identify and punish those responsibility, so that a feeling of impunity does not endanger all journalists covering the political situation in Cyprus.

The incident occurred after Kanatli, who edits the opposition weekly Yeni Cag, covered a demonstration held by the ultra-nationalist "Grey Wolves" in protest against the positions adopted by the European Union, United Kingdom and United States on a settlement in Cyprus.

Kanatli subsequently went to the headquarters of the Grey Wolves with the aim of interviewing the group’s leader. On his way back to the newspaper’s offices, he was attacked in the street by some 30 members of the group, who punched and kicked him and took his digital camera.

The police did not carry out any arrests, but they questioned Kanatli at great length about his reasons for going to the Grey Wolves headquarters. At his request, the police recovered his camera but the Grey Wolves kept the memory card.




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