Journalists are calling on the state to curtail hate speech, following a death threat on social media against a local reporter.
Kostas Kostantinou who writes for daily Politis, was the subject of a comment on Facebook that included hateful and violent content.
The user said he hoped someone would shoot Konstantinou in the head.
“I turned on the radio and tuned in to his show by accident, and the only thing that came to mind was for someone out there to put a bullet to his head and finish him off. He’s a Turk in every sense of the word.”
Konstantinou reported the incident to police, even though the comment was removed and the user left the social platform.
'But what we cannot accept are the personal threats against us or the use of hate speech which can propagate acts of violence'
The news organisation wrote on its website Thursday that staff can accept criticism, but not threats.
“Reporters are on the receiving end of every type of criticism from everyone, whether we agree or disagree with it, and we handle it accordingly,” a Politis statement said.
“But what we cannot accept are personal threats against us or the use of hate speech which can propagate acts of violence.”
The Cyprus Journalists Union also weighed in on the situation, expressing their support to their colleague and calling on authorities to take action.
“The Cyprus Journalists Union condemns in the strongest terms this and other behaviours that are abhorrent to us all and offend deeply our culture, while also brutally harming the freedom of the Press and blatantly eroding the democratic institutions of our country,” the statement said.
The CJU had been at odds with Konstantinou on a number of issues, with different opinions ranging from cultural and political issues to nuanced approaches on criticism against a bicommunal glossary.
Hate speech has been rampant on social media in Cyprus, with many social group and individual pages becoming being battle grounds for exchange of political ideas but also insults and offensive comments.
Police did not comment on the case but Knews understands investigators are following up on the incident.
According to Politis, Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou was briefed on the matter.