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16 June, 2024
 
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Officers probed after arrests in Paphos migration unit

Independent probe launched to ascertain whether police committed offenses as Syrian family faces trial

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Police union officials are crying foul over an independent inquiry that has been launched to investigate a complaint following the arrest of a Syrian family last week at a district migration office in Paphos.

Five Syrians aged between 15 and 51 appeared on Monday before a Paphos district judge, who ordered the family to stand trial in connection with a case of aggravated assault. They were subsequently released from custody until their arraignment hearing on November 28.

The five suspects, all part of a family from Syria, were arrested last Thursday following an incident in Paphos at the district migration office where police officers said they were attacked.

Local media said the suspects were among a number of individuals who went to the migration office to submit an application but were turned away by police officers, who told them they needed first to book an appointment online.

'Once again we are living through the daily occurrence of violence against our fellow members,” the police union boss said, adding “no one now will hesitate to attack us in our home'

Police officials in the western town told media the suspects became upset and started raising their voice, adding that they became physically aggressive when officers asked them to calm down.

But reports this week said the Independent Authority for the Investigation of Allegations and Complaints Against the Police (AADIPA) launched a probe against the officers involved to ascertain whether they had committed any disciplinary offenses.

According to ISOTITA police union boss Nicos Loizides, who confirmed an internal investigation had been launched, the probe by an AADIPA investigator was not unexpected “but we’re being ironic when we say this.”

“Once again we are living through the daily occurrence of violence against our fellow members,” the police union boss said, adding that “no one anymore will hesitate, with audacity, to attack us in our home.”

Loizides said he was upset with the state and police leadership, accusing them of “fanaticizing hooligans and some foreigners with human rights but leaving out obedience to the laws of the Cyprus Republic.”

Police say the suspects became physically aggressive towards the officers, all five of whom were treated at the state hospital for minor injuries following the altercation.

Offenses under investigation at the time of the arrest included assaulting an officer, aggravated assault, malicious damage of property, and disorderedly conduct.

Additional reports on social media suggested the suspects raised their voice when they were turned away but did not become hostile until after police threatened to arrest them.

Knews has been told that all foreign nationals who wish to submit an application are being informed about the online appointment system.

Other reports suggested currently open appointment slots for certain applications were available for dates into the next year.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  migration  |  police  |  asylum  |  refugee  |  Syria  |  assault  |  arrest  |  complaint  |  violence

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