Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
An appeal in the Cyprus Supreme Court to overturn the sentence against a young British woman is underway. She was convicted of giving false statements to the police, claiming she was allegedly raped by 12 Israeli boys in the town of Ayia Napa back in July 2019.
from the point of view of human rights, it is the most important case in Cyprus in the last ten years
The incident, and the court case that followed, garnered national and international headlines after she claimed she was made to recant her statements under pressure from Cypriot police and did so without a lawyer.
Lawyers for the young lady will argue in a 70-page memo that the sentencing and subsequent four-month suspension of their client was "extremely unreliable" and should be overturned.
Women’s rights groups protested outside the Supreme Court building in Nicosia and held signs showing their solidarity with the young lady.
One of the lawyers heading the appeal, Mr. Michael Pollack, stated that "from the point of view of human rights, it is the most important case in Cyprus in the last ten years".
He added that the case "will determine whether basic guarantees of a fair trial, such as the right to be represented by a lawyer and to have a fair trial, are protected in Cyprus".
Mr. Pollack stated if the appeal does not result in the reversal of the conviction, he and the rest of the lawyers were ready to take it to the European court of Human Rights.
The Cyprus Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in six months.