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Cyprus Government Admits Investigation Against Indymedia and Petros Evdokas Initiated by US Intelligence

The scandal is unfolding in gigantic proportions. Responding to a publicity and solidarity campaign by Indymedia, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has been forced to admit that they were acting under orders from the US Government to carry out an intelligence investigation of Cyprus Indymedia and of one of its founding members, Petros Evdokas, in order to assess whether he "constitutes a threat to US interests."

Police had interrogated his family a few weeks ago and, during the affair, inadvertently blurted out that the source of this investigation was a directive by the CIA. After a series of denials and cover-ups (chronicled below) the Police Headquarters issued an official statement on Friday admitting to everything that Indymedia had accused them of, namely that directives of the CIA and the US Embassy have priority over their own mission which, believe it or not, is to protect the tiny and independent Republic from foreign intervention.
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The scandal is unfolding in gigantic proportions. Responding to a publicity and solidarity campaign by Indymedia, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has been forced to admit that they were acting under orders from the US Government to carry out an intelligence investigation of Cyprus Indymedia and of one of its founding members, Petros Evdokas, in order to assess whether he "constitutes a threat to US interests."

Police had interrogated his family a few weeks ago and, during the affair, inadvertently blurted out that the source of this investigation was a directive by the CIA. After a series of denials and cover-ups (chronicled below) the Police Headquarters issued an official statement on Friday admitting to everything that Indymedia had accused them of, namely that directives of the CIA and the US Embassy have priority over their own mission which, believe it or not, is to protect the tiny and independent Republic from foreign intervention.

Cyprus IndyMedia, with the help of supporters and friends in the BiCommunal Peace networks, the alternative and radical community, and with global allies abroad, initiated a campaign for solidarity, for legal defense, and to publicize the case with all of its "curious" twists and turns.

Throughout this last week there was increasing interest from newspapers on the island which began to publish small news items presenting our case. By mid- week it was front page news with giant headlines in one newspaper. On Friday, Cyprus IndyMedia and the Evdokas family held a joint Press Conference, which was attended by about half of the establishment media, and IndyMedia's own reporters of course. Friends and allies attended as well, to express support.

On Friday night the case was on the major news reports of two television stations. One of those two stations is the biggest in the country in terms of audience numbers and political power - it belongs to the State! During that news show, statements were made by a representative of the Police Headquarters admitting that the investigation is real and proceeded to uncover some of its details.

By Saturday morning, our case is a front- page item in much of the establishment Press.
Under the headline "CIA orders investigation", they publish statements by the Assistant Chief of Police admitting that there is an intelligence and "assessment" investigation (without mentioning that the Police had been denying it all week, when reporters called them up - more on that below).

On Sunday morning newspaper articles reveal that the major political parties have been drawn into the fray, with Members of Parliament castigating the Police for this unacceptable behaviour. Even the vice- chair of the ruling party has been embarassed into criticizing the subservience of the Police to the US intelligence agencies.

* How to help - things you can do

Many people have been writing or calling and asking how to help. Alerted by global IndyMedia article about the case a few days ago, and also by the revelations on television and the press, even people with whom we might disagree on other items, have been outraged by this effort to silence and intimidate IndyMedia in Cyprus, particularly disturbed by the interrogation of one of our members' parents.

We are so very grateful for the outpouring of support and solidarity... your concern gives all of us strength, and helps us cultivate and maintain our morale.

The government intimidation of IndyMedia Cyprus and of Petros Evdokas by command of the US intelligence services, has been a pressing issue and rallying point for us in the last few weeks. We are so moved to receive your messages of support and to know that you are sharing our news with others in the struggle.

For now, the best form of help is to just publicize the facts of the case, our Collective's statements on it, and above all, to publicize *your own* opinions about it as individuals and organizations who are concerned about freedom of expression, and as allies in the global liberation movement united against imperialist intervention.

If you like (if it's safe for you, or for your organization), please send a letter or a statement to the Embassy of Cyprus in your country, or to the Embassy of the US (or both), asking them to stop this investigation and to stop intimidating the Evdokas family or anyone who is related to IndyMedia, and to respect the fundamental right to freedom of speech. Please ask them, above all, to honour a policy of *non-intervention* in the affairs of our tiny island's war- torn communities which simply want to live united in Peace.

We are also asking specifically of progressive radical organizations which are based within the United States to do the same, with statements to the media, to the US Department of State, and to the Embassy of Cyprus. Do you want this interference and intimidation by the US Government to be happening in your name? Even the shortest letter, even the smallest statement can make a huge difference. The people of our island need to be protected from constant interventions by the US and UK Governments and by their local puppets in Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey, which are aimed to artificially instigate our ethnic communities towards racial war and butchery against each other, just to serve the interests of the global Empire.

More of the juicy details of the case follow below:

* What the police said

When the story began to break into the mainstream media in mid July, the office of the Chief of Police stated to the newspaper "Phileleftheros" that they had "never heard of this investigation", and they even directed the journalists to "inform the Police" if they find out who is doing it.

A week later, in response to questions by reporters of the newspaper "Mahi", the official Police Spokesperson Dimitris Dimitriou stated that the Police has "nothing whatsoever to do with this case" and that "the Police receives orders from no one".

Two days ago, the Police Headquarters admitted everything in an official statement issued for the media and also broadcasted on the government tv station's main news program. In fact, the Police stated that this investigation has been active since March, right after IndyMedia in Cyprus published an "offending" article by Petros Evdokas which exposed and documented US intelligence operations interfering with the recent Peace referendum on the island, and the efforts by the US Government to impose an Apartheid-style regime on the island as a "final solution" to the regional conflict, which of course would be a sure- fire guarantee for eternal war in the Eastern Mediterranean.

* What the US Embassy said

In mid July, journalists of "The Cyprus Mail" questioned the Press Officer of the US Embassy in Cyprus about the investigation against IndyMedia. The Officer declared "unavailable for comment".

When the story began to break into front- page news in the third week of July, the US Embassy Press Office told reporters of the newspaper "Mahi" that they "know nothing about the case", while representatives of the Embassy stated that they "have never heard of Petros Evdokas", and that they "do not concern themselves with whatever anyone writes".

And now, the official Police statement just out two days ago, states in full glory that they had received a written document from the US Embassy in March - "a complaint" - urging them to investigate whether Petros Evdokas and his writings "constitute a threat to US interests".

These actions constitute a clear pattern of lies, denial, cover- up and cowardice, not only by the US Embassy and its associated intelligence agencies, but also by the magnificent authorities in Cyprus, through their willing collusion with this criminal investigation and illegal harassment operation against IndyMedia and against a family who are totally innocent victims of this operation. The tragedy and the comedy of it all begins with the high degree of intervention by the US Government in another country's affairs to such a minute detail, which is mind-bending. And at the same time, it's so-o-o- punctuated by an abundance of Inspector Clouseau's (Pink Panther)-style of bungling Police operations - we find these in most Banana Republics around the world, including all of the hot spots of the Middle East where the leaders of the US Government are trying their best to start World War Four in order to bring about a perverted fantasy of christian Rapture.

We are going to pursue this issue further, with whatever it takes.

* The global context

IndyMedia faces challenges on a daily basis on a global scale. We are the unofficial organ of expression of a the whole planet- wide mobilization to resist the Empire - it's understandable that the Opposition will do anything to destroy a voice which is an organizing tool against the globalized domination of the earth by corporations and authoritarian states.

The campaigns to intimidate IndyMedia are not yet co-ordinated on a global scale, but we're slowly moving in that direction. The assasination of IndyMedia founding member Lenin Cali Najera of Equador just recently (comrades there are speculating that a death squad made his assasination appear as attempted robbery); the current trials in Italy springing from the concerted attack by paramilitary police against the IndyMedia facilities in 2001; the use of armoured vehicles to intimidate the IndyMedia workspace in Georgia USA just last month; and now the nation- wide "pre-emptive" raids and interrogations by FBI of radicals across the whole US in order to thwart preparations to protest at the two Republocrat party conventions, are pointing the way to a new phase of struggle for free and radical media activists. It is in this context that we are experiencing the intelligence investigation against Cyprus IndyMedia. The local/ regional politics are important, of course, everywhere, but the liberation Movement is now truly global, and repression is shaping up to adjust.

We seek to live in a world some day in which people are entirely free from corporate and state intervention in our lives, a world without borders, in which all of natural and social resources are owned collectively by the community and administered by the people for the people in free associations and peoples' councils operating on the basis of consensus, direct democracy, and face-to-face accountability. Is it too much to ask for? Perhaps. But it makes our struggles worthwhile. And the vision of global Peace and Justice, helps us endure many of the abuses by the machinery of state-sponsored terrorism.

If your embrace this cause, if this Movement is yours too, please help us.

With much gratitude to all of you who have been mobilized or touched by our campaign, who were inspired to help us out in one way or another - please continue your support, and be assured we will continue.

July 25, 2004
Cyprus IndyMedia Collective,
english language branch
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