Media-stung police seek personal touch

Cyprus’s police chief has found a novel way of hitting back at insubordinate journalists. As of yesterday, under orders from Police Chief Tassos Panayiotou, any journalists seeking information on a crime story have to present themselves at the police headquarters to get a printed statement. Phone briefings are forbidden, while the police press office will cease to send information by fax or e-mail. The force came under media criticism this week following the weekend arrests of five Pakistani students at Paphos airport as «suspects for planning to commit a possible terrorist act,» as Cyprus Deputy Police Chief Sotiris Haralambous said. The men were freed on Monday, after it emerged that they had lied to airport officials in fear of deportation for seeking employment, which was forbidden under their student status.

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