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Criminal court accuses media of influencing public opinion in police trial

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 31 March 2009 press release by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

SEEMO/IPI supports the Union of Cyprus Journalists in defending the role of the media

Vienna, 31 March 2009

According to information before SEEMO, on 19 March 2009, the Criminal Court of Cyprus accused the media of influencing public opinion in a trial against policemen. In defending the role of the media, the Union of Cyprus Journalists said the media have the right to report on current affairs and must not be targeted. The Union of Cyprus Journalists received the full support of the Attorney General and political leaders in Cyprus.

Commenting on the matter, SEEMO Secretary General, Oliver Vujovic, said, "An open media environment allowing the free flow of information is a fundamental principle of a democratic society. In order for the media to function as an important pillar of democracy, it is vital for journalists to be able to report freely on current affairs, including court cases, and to provide information of public interest."

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