Cyprus police are faced with fresh accusations of mishandling a rape claim filed by a young UK national last May whilst on holiday in the Famagusta district’s resort town of Protaras.
Justice Abroad, the team of lawyers also representing a 19-year-old British woman convicted last year of lying about being raped by a group of Israelis in Ayia Napa in July 2019 in a case that drew international attention, said they have taken up a similar case involving the Cypriot police’s failure to investigate a rape claim filed by a 17-year-old Scottish girl in May 2019.
According to Justice Abroad, the day before she was scheduled to fly back to the UK, the teenager had told police that she was raped by an employee of the hotel in Protaras at which she and her partner were staying while on holiday in Cyprus, and expected police to carry out a full investigation.
Three weeks after she returned to Scotland, the teen contacted the British High Commission in Nicosia, which informed her the Cypriot police would not be proceeding with the investigation, as they claimed the teen had not requested such a course of action.
Realising her case would not be investigated by Cyprus police, the teen then reported the offences to the Scottish police who took statements from the teenager and other witnesses, while local law enforcement officials “refuse” to investigate the 17-year-old’s report, Justice Abroad said.
Cypriot police claim they were informed of the incident from the management of the hotel, and that the teen had hadn’t made a formal complaint when she went to the police station on May 8, 2019, alleging she didn’t want police to conduct an investigation into the offences.
It remains unclear whether Famagusta police, who face similar allegations of mishandling an Ayia Napa gang rape claim in a case that is being appealed to the Cypriot Supreme Court, deliberately misunderstood the teen’s wishes.
Michael Polak, a lawyer for Justice Abroad, has said the two male officers who took her statement did not speak good English and did not arrange for an interpreter, while the teen was not offered medical assistance.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, which contacted the police press office, Cyprus police claim that the manager of the Protaras hotel reported that the British teen met the barman of the hotel while on vacation there.
Police said the report they received claimed that the teen had left the hotel with the barman, and later ran into her partner, telling him the barman had sexually abused her.
Paralimini police then claim they called the teen in for a statement, during which she said “she doesn’t want to make a formal complaint, nor does she want the barman to be prosecuted, as she doesn’t remember much.”
According to the police press office, Paralimni police consider the incident a shut case.