Police are investigating a racism complaint after a video emerged showing Cypriot women and a child verbally assaulting a Russian woman following a fender-bender at a parking lot in Larnaca.
(Click here for an update to the story)
A concerned citizen, described as a Russian woman living in Limassol, posted a video on Facebook following a heated altercation with three Cypriot women, mother and daughters, in the presence of two minors which took place on Saturday night.
Warning: strong language
In a video "3 Cyprus Lady" which was nearing 200,000 views on YouTube and over a thousand comments by Monday morning, two women presumed to be Greek Cypriots appear overly upset over the Russian woman who was filming them after she had stopped them from leaving the scene of an accident. Reports said moments earlier the women in an SUV backed into another parked vehicle, reportedly belonging to another man with a hearing impairment, before attempting to leave while the concerned citizen ran up to them and took photos with her mobile phone.
The women who got out of the car began verbally assaulting the eye witness as soon as they realized she was a bystander and not the owner of the damaged vehicle according to reports.
“Romanian asshole, go away, you Bulgarian fag. What is it, Bulgarian, in your country you sucked on a cow’s teat to drink milk. Fuck off, fuck you,” one of the Cypriot women told the witness.
“Fuck off? You fuck off,” the Russian woman responded.
“Go to your place, go to your country, you filthy whore. Fuck off. Go on, fuck you,” the Cypriot replied.
The Russian woman says she saw the women trying to leave and that she was waiting for the police to arrive, while the Cypriots say they had no intention of leaving and that they were upset over the Russian woman’s actions.
“But why are you calling police? We’re here. Have we left? Get out of here before I slap you,” one of the Cypriot women told the woman who had witnessed the fender-bender.
Another female was heard calling the Russian woman a “butt naked whore” and finally spitting in the eye witness’ face.
“Come to my home to do the windows. Can you clean my windows?” said one woman with the other saying “do you want some of this, uh, do you want some of this, you butt naked whore, some of this, you dick face.”
“I’ll see you in court,” the Russian woman replied.
One Cypriot woman also told the Russian to go “suck a dick” adding that she would call her own husband to come and give the Russian lady “a good fucking.”
Young boy in the mix
At one point in the video, a young boy presumed to be together with the group of the Cypriot women, is heard talking to the Russian woman.
“You’re an idiot woman,” the boy said.
The Russian responded “my love, you’re too young…” with the boy cutting her off and telling her to “shut up.”
At another point in the video, the Russian woman is also heard saying “don’t touch me” while one of the women was approaching her, threatening her, and yelling at her until a point when a slap is heard but not seen on camera.
Police are investigating the incident, including allegations of verbal and physical abuse. The Russian woman’s phone is said to be in the hands of law enforcement officials, who are also seeking footage from nearby security cameras to get a full picture of the incident.
The office of the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides, made a statement Monday morning, saying there was no doubt the Russian woman had been a victim of racial slurs.
Lottides, who did not want to comment on the legal issues stemming from the recorded incident, expressed concern over the presence of a minor during the altercation.
“A child in this incident was exposed to a lack of respect towards another fellow human being based on her physical characteristics,” Lottides said.
The Cypriot women say they will file a civil lawsuit against the Russian woman for breach of privacy over the recording of the incident, including the licence plates of their vehicle. One of them alleged during a statement to police that the Russian woman had requested 100 euro to turn a blind eye, something the eye witness has vehemently denied.
"No, of course, it's a stupid thing," the Russian woman told a reporter who asked about the money allegation.
The video, which seems to be a recording of a conversation that took place publicly, was posted by the Russian woman who appeared to be drawing support from locals who went online to say they were appalled over the racist behaviour of the Cypriot women.
Police reportedly received statements from all four females involved in the incident while a full investigation into the complaint and counter-claims continues.