Four males from Cameroon were arrested on Tuesday in old Nicosia after police attempted to break up a soccer match, while two detainees were also accused of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
According to local media, about 15 foreign nationals were playing soccer in downtown Nicosia on Tuesday evening around 7pm, when two police officers approached the group in an effort to enforce movement restriction laws during the coronavirus pandemic.
Media reports said the crowd dispersed at the sight of police officers, while four adult males remained at the scene.
Police told Knews attempts to identify others involved could be underway, while charges include decree violations, assaulting a police officer, and obstructing a law enforcement officer
Police sources told Knews the two individuals assaulted the officers but did not clarify whether the two males were refusing inspection or resisting arrest.
According to an official police report, a 20-year-old man was said to have resisted inspection by striking one of the officer’s hand, while a 27-year-old man resisted arrest by pushing another officer.
Two others, aged 20 and 28, appeared to have tried to help the two suspects escape police arrest, according to the official report, with officers calling for backup and all four suspects detained.
Police did not say whether any suspects would attend a remand hearing on Wednesday but also did not rule out the possibility, adding that two officers were treated for minor injuries following the incident, after visiting the Emergency Room at Nicosia General Hospital.
Police warn groups of foreign nationals
A day earlier, Police Spokesman Christos Andreou said municipalities and group representatives of foreign nationals would be contacted to ensure that mass gatherings of people were avoided.
Andreou had told the Cyprus News Agency that ignorance of the law would excuse no one and would not absolve people of the repercussions of committing an offence.
Nicosia's Central Police Station is investigating the incident, while police told Knews attempts to identify others involved could be underway Charges include decree violations, assaulting a police officer, and obstructing a law enforcement officer.