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IPI Protests Arrests in Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Romania, Yugoslavia

September 20, 1990

LONDON (AP) _ The International Press Institute said Wednesday it was concerned about the arrest of an editor in Turkey and the detention of journalists in Egypt and Syria.

It also said it was concerned about harassment of foreign journalists by Serbian police in Yugoslavia and about what it said were plans in Romania for new press curbs.

Peter Galliner, director of the institute, sent protest letters to the presidents of Turkey and Syria and Egypt’s Interior Minister.

The message to Turkish President Turgut Ozal called for the release of Dogu Perincek, editor of the newspaper Yozol, who was arrested last month in Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey and is awaiting trial.

Galliner said Perincek was jailed after speaking out against ″current government repression in the southeastern region of Turkey.″

The institute’s message to Gen. Abdul Halim Mussa, the Egyptian minister of the interior, called for the release of Khaled Sherif, a journalist with the newspaper El Hakika. The institute said it had reports Sherif had been tortured in Tora Reception prison.

Galliner’s message to Syrian President Hafez Assad said the detention of journalist Imad Naddaf was a ″gross violation of human rights″ and that he should either be released or charged.

″We understand that Naddaf was arrested in 1982 under the state of emergency law,″ Galliner said. ″He has not been charged officially or sentenced, is still held in detention and is not allowed legal access or visits by his family.″

Galliner also sent protest letters to the president of the Yugoslavian republic of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, and to Romanian President Ion Iliescu.

He said Serbian police had harassed foreign journalists reporting recent unrest in the southern province of Kosovo, which Serbia formally administers.

There has been continued unrest in the province the past 18 months as the majority Albanian community in Kosovo protests Serbia’s dominance of the province.

Galliner urged Iliescu to withdraw a draft law on the press.

If passed, he said, the measure would ″seriously threaten″ press freedom in Romania and ″undermine the right to full and free reporting, discussion and public debate.″

He said the proposed law would forbid the publication of ″false or alarming information or comments that might seriously threaten or disturb public law and order.″ Galliner said it should be replaced with a proposal that would affirm ″the right of the Romanian people to freedom of speech and of the press.″

The institute has offices in London and Zurich, Switzerland, and is an independent organization of publishers and editors in 60 countries.