The Ombudsman has issued a damning report on the Oroklini Detention Centre in Larnaca, describing conditions at the facility as unsuitable for holding individuals.
The Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights, Ombudsman Maria Stylianou Lottides, issued a report this month based on a site visit by two of her staff, who saw in November 2017 a lack of proper sanitation and inadequacies in how detainees were being treated at the facility.
The report also singled out a specific area of the facility that had neither been cleaned nor disinfected
One of the issues raised in the report was the lack of appropriate outdoor yard space for physical exercise, which made the facility unsuitable for holding individuals beyond a 24-hour period. The ombudsman cited previous and repeated warnings by a Council of Europe anti-torture committee, members of which had visited Cyprus earlier last year.
The conditions at the Oroklini facility, where both men and women are being held, were further described as appalling due to the conditions of toilet facilities as “not satisfactory, with a bad smell due to a broken a drainage system."
The report also singled out a specific area of the facility that had neither been cleaned nor disinfected.
The Ombudsman wrote in her report that the facility ought to be as such “to allow for yard time and cleaning of individual holding cells” while also providing suitable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
The report reiterated the point that the Oroklini facility is not set up to hold individuals for a period longer than 24 hours, adding that in cases where a lengthier detention is necessary for legal reasons, the administration ought to make necessary modifications that are appropriate for detaining people for longer than 24 hours.
A late May deadline was set in the report for the authorities and chief of police to report back to the Ombudsman's office.