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20 July, 2024
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Ledra protester says officer attacked him

Facebook user writes preemptive letter calling on attorney general to offer legal protection


A peace activist, who took part in the protest at the Ledra checkpoint last Saturday, says he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by an officer in uniform and that police are trying to build a case against him.

Last night, a Facebook user wrote an open letter to Attorney General Costas Clerides, asking for legal protection after hearing remarks made in public by police spokesman Christos Andreou regarding what might have preceded an incident involving the protester at the Ledra checkpoint on Saturday, February 29, in downtown Nicosia.

The protester says he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a police officer, with the incident caught on tape and parts of it shown in a video leaked to the media.

In the letter, the Facebook user also said he had not launched a complaint after the officer called him on the phone and acknowledged that nothing had preceded the attack. Accordinng to the post, the officer allegedly told him that police were "under political pressure" to take action.

“He acknowledged that nothing had happened before his assault, which was without any cause,” the protester wrote.

The protester called on the attorney general to offer protection against what he described as “further arbitrary actions against me” and added that he had been the victim of multiple threats and intimidation since the incident.

“I call on the police to release the video of the entire event recorded by a Police officer, which clearly demonstrates that nothing preceded the police assault on me,” the peace activist wrote.

He also argued that that he attended a demonstration without breaking any laws, citing the Constitution and rights to a “peaceful assembly.”

Earlier this week, two individuals were charged with unlawful assembly and public disorder after being called down to the station. Another man jailed for a total of three days on the same charges as well as assault charges will face trial after a video emerged showing him in a physical altercation with a soldier who was tasked to keep the safety barricades intact.

Knews could not ascertain whether warrants had been issued for the arrest of a number of individuals seen in the video.

Police told Knews that whether arrest warrants are issued or not is not was not the kind of information that investigators choose to disclose, unless there is a basis to inform the public.

Knews understands that the man facing assault charges will appear in court in April while the two individuals charged so far will face a separate trial.

“On the advice of a lawyer, I am presenting this in writing to you, given the political pressures on the Police, if I visit a police station, I may be arrested for the purpose of putting pressure on me and framing a case against me in order to legitimize the police assault,” the protester concluded.

The protest took place after the government ordered a number of checkpoints in the buffer zone shut down amid coronavirus fears. Currently, many crossings are tentatively closed until Monday

Critics say the measure was a political move in the south by the administration in the Republic of Cyprus, while the government insists that specific closings are intended to assist state officials in better handling the coronavirus threat.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Ledra  |  protest  |  checkpoint

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