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26 May, 2024
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Investigative journalist in Cyprus cries censorship

Author Makarios Drousiotis says appearance on state TV was scrapped because of latest book on corruption


A renowned investigative journalist in Cyprus, whose scheduled appearance on television was recently scrapped, says he believes he has been banned from media because of his latest book on power and corruption.

Makarios Drousiotis, Cypriot author of many historical and political books including his latest “I Symmoria” (The Gang), went public this week with news that his appearance on RIK2 had been canceled and claimed it was due to censorship.

A tweet on Monday by RIK2 television presenter Elita Michaelidou said the program “Me Ti Foni Sou” (With Your Voice), where Drousiotis was to appear as a guest, had been canceled “due to the show’s producer being overseas.”

“When Ms. Michaelidou called me up to invite me on her program on the occasion of my book ‘I Simmoria’ I was surprised because I knew there was a directive to ignore it completely,” Drousiotis had said on his blog.

An official statement from RIK stated that the reason behind the cancelation was that having Drousiotis on the show would have been 'alien to the subject matter of the program'

Michaelidou had announced on October 3 about Drousiotis going on her show, “someone you have requested and we are responding to your suggestions,” she wrote on Facebook. On October 4 Michaelidou wrote “the show has been canceled due to the producer being away.

But Drousiotis, who had worked briefly at the presidential palace during the financial crisis, questioned the explanation and wrote on his blog that he did not believe the show was canceled for any reason but a “directive from higher up” in an effort to keep his latest book hushed up.

“The cancelation of the program is not news. Going forward with the show would have been the actual news, especially today when the censored program happened to have coincided with new revelations in the Pandora Papers and the activity of the President’s law firm with dirty money through dark paths,” Drousiotis wrote on Monday.

An official statement from RIK later in the week stated that the reason behind the cancelation was that having Drousiotis on the show would have been “alien to the subject matter of the program, which was designed and went on air just recently with an exclusive aim to give voice to social issues that take a collective toll on Cypriot society, such as domains of education, health, and social welfare.”

“Finally RIK wishes to clarify that there was no intervention from higher up on the issue and considers any further discussion on the issue as unnecessary and with nothing to offer to anybody,” the statement said.

The public broadcaster also said it was “sorry for any distress or inconvenience caused” to the would-be guest.

Drousiotis, who joined Cypriot former European Commissioner Christos Stylianides in Brussels after the author’s unceremonious departure from the Presidential Palace, was quick to respond to the statement.

“RIK should feel sorry for itself for being afraid to even mention me by name, let alone to have me as a guest on a program,” Drousiotis wrote.

Last year, the former presidential advisor said he feared for his life after discovering evidence of surveillance and hacking of his writing, messages, and home security apparatus, while he believed his travels were also monitored.

“I inform my friends that I am the victim of an unprecedented violation of my privacy,” Drousiotis tweeted last year.

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