A Syrian asylum seeker suspected of terrorism ties is being held lawfully in Cyprus according to a court ruling, after the suspect had filed an appeal over his arrest and lengthy detention.
According to Reporter, a detained man from Syria who remains in custody since May had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court over his detention, arguing there were ulterior motives behind his detention. The individual was not identified or described in the news story.
The suspect argued there was no testimony or evidence linking him to any terrorism organization, adding that his lengthy detention was inexcusable
The suspect reportedly came to Cyprus illegally and had his name included on a Stop list since December 2014. His name had come up after counter-terrorism officials obtained information from his brother who allegedly made statements about photos of ISIS armed fighters posted on Facebook.
Law enforcement officials in Cyprus looked through the suspect’s phone after getting his consent according to Reporter, while a warrant for his arrest was later issued and he was detained on grounds of national security.
The suspect is arguing that there is no testimony or evidence that could link him to any terrorism organization, while he also told the Supreme Court that his lengthy detention was inexcusable.
National Security supersedes
But local authorities insisted that the suspect’s detention was deemed necessary by counter-terrorism officials, who cited national security concerns as well as administrative delays due to an asylum application that was recently filed by the detainee.
A lower court had found that the detention was not unlawful, with the Supreme Court probing only the duration aspect of the detention and ruling that it was legal due to national security concerns.
The Supreme Court also said the administration was in no way obligated to offer any explanation for a detention if and when it is done for national security reasons.
“The investigation of the evidence or information that concern national security is a matter left to the authorities and agencies involved,” the Supreme Court said.
Cyprus is considered a low-risk destination country for terrorists, but officials remain on high alert for suspects transiting to Europe who may pass through the island.
While lenghty detention of asylum seekers can violate human rights, terrorism suspects can remain in custody lawfully for longer periods of time. No official figures have been provided on individuals who are both deemed terrorism suspects as well as seek asylum in the Republic.