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AHI Letter Criticizing Anonymous Ads Attacking Greece Published in Washington Times
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
March 5, 2002 No. 09/02 (202) 785-8430

AHI Letter Criticizing Anonymous Ads Attacking Greece
Published in Washington Times

On March 3, 2002, The Washington Times published a letter to the editor from the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) criticizing an anonymous advertisement that falsely attacked Greece as a state sponsor of terrorism. The ad, signed by the "Greek Americans Against Terrorism," appeared in the February 25 edition of the newspaper.

AHI's letter, signed by General Counsel Gene Rossides, criticizes the ad on several fronts. First, referring to the State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism -- 2000" report, AHI refuted the argument that Greece is a state sponsor of terrorism by documenting Greece's serious measures to combat terrorism, undertaken at domestic and international levels.

Without diminishing the gravity of the terrorist group17 November's crimes and stating it "must be eradicated and brought to justice," the AHI's letter pointed out the false figures in the ad. In reality, Greece enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the European Union.

Finally, the "Greek Americans Against Terrorism" were not required by The Washington Times to include public contact information in their ad. According to AHI's letter, "A great disservice is committed against your readership when you do not allow the means to respond directly to persons who make such allegations," suggesting to The Washington Times that an overall revision of advertising standards is in order.

Separately, AHI also submitted a similar but more extensive letter to Wesley Pruden, Editor in Chief of The Washington Times, also emphasizing the need for an overall review of the publication's advertising standards.

AHI's letter to the editor and letter to Wesley Pruden are attached. Also attached is a letter to the editor from the Ambassador of Greece to the U.S., Alexander Philon, published in The Washington Times on March 1, 2002. For additional information, including program information and photographs of the event, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or at info@ahiworld.org. For general information on the work of the American Hellenic Institute, please view our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org.