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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE
Central Building - Ground Floor
Kimonos and Thoukidides Street
1434, Nicosia


Strasbourg, 2006-12-12



Open letter to the Ministry of Education and Culture



Dear Minister Georgiades,

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, are writing to you with regard to the movie "Akamas" and our concerns about freedom of expression.

We recently invited Mr Panicos Chrysianthou, director of the film "Akamas", to Brussels to screen his movie in the European Parliament. The movie, which has also been selected for screening at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, shows in its 125-minute feature a love story between a Turkish Cypriot man and a Greek Cypriot woman, spanning the two turbulent decades between 1955 and 1975.

We are convinced that this movie makes a valuable contribution to understanding and learning about 's history in a non-polarised way.

We would like to indicate to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the basic framework for media pluralism on the European scale. Under its effect, States are under a "duty to protect" and, when necessary, to take positive measures to ensure diversity of opinion in the media. The European Court of Human Rights has stated that without plurality of voices and opinions in the media, the media cannot fulfil their contributory role in democracy. Thus, European States are under the obligation of safeguarding and promoting pluralism in the media.

Film and movie productions - as long as they do not violate the principles of democratic and human rights - should not be under any censorship in the context of prohibiting the freedom of expression.

Rather there should be possibilities of an open-mindedness required for a vibrant and critical engagement and discourse about our European history, to which belongs too.

For these reasons we would like to ask you, Mr Georgiadis, to support the director Mr Chrysianthou in his artistic work financially and to actively promote the film as a contribution to cultural diversity and freedom of expression.

Yours sincerely,



12/12/2006



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