Political influence, threats against journalists

The constitution guarantees press freedom but political parties, the Orthodox Church and commercial interests all exercise a great deal of influence over the media. Defamation is still criminalised. Journalism is also restricted by bans on the use of certain terms in connection with the conflict with the north of the island, and by denial of the Armenian genocide and war crimes not recognised by the state. The auditor-general recently threatened the Cyprus Mail, an English-language daily, for using a Turkish geographical name in its reporting. The paper “committed a criminal offence,” he said. Makarios Drousiotis, a journalist who has been investigating an alleged corruption case involving government representatives, said he was under constant surveillance, that he had been the victim of a cyber-attack, and that he feared for his life. Al Jazeera’s revelations about Cyprus’s “golden passports” scheme led to the resignations of parliamentary speaker Demetris Syllouris and the MP Christakis Giovanis in October 2020. Andreas Paraschos resigned as editor of the weekly Kathimerini three days after publishing an article implicating President Nicos Anastasiades in the scandal, which had led to government pressure on its publishers and requests for an apology. Police meanwhile used excessive violence during an anti-corruption protest, injuring several people. Crossing points between the two parts of the island were closed, hampering the movements of journalists and their access to information

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



27 in 2020

Global score


20.45 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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