Kurds Seek Press Coverage of Ocalan Trial

PARIS (Reuters)–A Paris-based press rights group called on European authorities on Thursday to intervene so that pro-Kurd media could cover the trial of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan like other journalists.

The international Reporters without Borders group said in messages to European Commission President Jacques Santer and Council of Europe secretary-general Daniel Tarshys that Turkish authorities had taken general measures to limit coverage of the trial and events related to it.

RSF listed incidents where Turkish reporters were beaten or arrested during clashes in Kurdish-inhabited areas of Turkey.

It said pro-Kurdish or extreme leftist media favorable to the Kurdish cause were especially singled out and this was contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights of which Turkey was a signatory.

"RSF begs you to intervene with Turkish authorities so that all media–whatever its editorial line–is allowed to inform freely on the Ocalan trial and the situation in the region (of southeast Turkey," the message said.

Ocalan was seized in Kenya last month and flown to Turkey to face treason charges.

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