Status: Free
Legal Environment: 4
Political Influences: 6
Economic Pressures: 8
Total Score: 18

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 77
Religious Groups: Greek Orthodox (78 percent), Muslim (18 percent), other (4 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Greek (85 percent), Turkish (12 percent), other (3 percent)
Capital: Nicosia

Freedom of the press is generally respected in law and practice in the Greek sector. A vibrant independent press frequently criticizes authorities, and private television and radio stations compete effectively with government-controlled stations. Concentration of ownership is a problem, however, and proper laws have not been implemented to prevent it from increasing. Most daily newspapers belong to or are linked to political parties or other groups, and only the state broadcaster has sufficient funds for producing much of its own programming. Travel across the border between the north and the south was severely restricted in the past, but in April 2003 the Turkish Cypriot authorities ended the requirement that journalists purchase a visa for entry; still, journalists are required to wear an identification tag for certain events, and this year Greek Cypriot journalists chose not to cover these events. In the disputed north, laws are in place for freedom of the press, but authorities are overtly hostile to the independent press. Court cases were brought against many journalists this year, often for insulting the Turkish military, which has a large presence here. Many local daily newspapers are available, but the broadcasting service is exclusively controlled by the Turkish-Cypriot administration. [The numerical rating for Cyprus is based on conditions in the Greek side of the island.]

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.