In the wake of the recent incidents in Chloraka, Cyprus, where tensions have escalated leading to anti-refugee actions, international human rights organizations have expressed "severe concern" over the situation. These incidents have sparked an urgent appeal to the competent state authorities to take immediate action.
"The distressing acceleration of hostile actions has rung alarm bells, compelling us to issue an urgent appeal to the competent State authorities," the organizations stated, emphasizing the need for swift and effective intervention.
Authorities have reported that eight-day detention orders were issued by the Paphos District Court for 16 individuals who were brought before the court in relation to the Chloraka incidents. Christos Andreou, the Press Representative of the Police Headquarters, shared this information during a press conference.
Among the detainees, a total of 21 individuals were taken into custody, with one being a minor. Legal procedures for minors will be strictly followed in accordance with the law. For the remaining four out of the 21, all of whom are adults, criminal cases have been filed against them for various offenses. These offenses include attacking a police officer, causing public concern, engaging in public insult, and being involved in stabbing incidents.
The proceedings for the four individuals facing charges have been initiated and documented at the Paphos District Court. A scheduled court hearing will take place at a later date, where their cases will be heard.
Responding to inquiries, Andreou disclosed the nationalities of the 16 arrested individuals. Out of the total, 7 are Greek Cypriots, 1 holds Greek nationality, and the remaining 8 possess Syrian citizenship and maintain legal residency status within the Republic.
In light of these developments, international human rights organizations have called upon the Ministries of Interior, Justice, and Labour, as well as the deputy Ministry of Social Welfare and the Ombudswoman, to engage in a multidisciplinary effort alongside NGOs and communities. Their aim is to collaboratively implement public policies in a timely manner and deescalate the situation while upholding the rights and safety of all affected groups.
Furthermore, the media has been urged to adhere to both EU and international laws concerning racist hate speech and the prohibition of incitement to violence. The organizations stress that every member of society bears a responsibility to choose their words and actions carefully, ensuring peaceful coexistence devoid of fear and prejudice.
This critical situation in Chloraka serves as a stark reminder of the importance of swift, comprehensive action to address escalating tensions and protect the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds.