Jailed Turkish-Cypriot journalists are freed

NICOSIA (AFP) – The editors of a Turkish-Cypriot opposition daily were released from prison yesterday after an appeals court reduced their original six-month sentence for libeling Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Afrika’s editor-in-chief, Sener Levent, and another editor, Memduh Ener, were jailed in August over a July 1999 article titled «Who is the No.1 Traitor?» which criticized Denktash. On appeal from the two men, the court ruled that the six-month prison term imposed on each of them was too harsh, and reduced it to six weeks. The court ordered Levent and Ener to be freed as they had already served that time. Afrika, which changed its name from Avrupa (Europe), has long been a harsh critic of Denktash and Turkey. The paper has suffered bomb attacks and has had its computers seized in disputes with the Turkish-Cypriot authorities.