Nicosia police are investigating a possible racially-motivated attack downtown last Friday, with two young men arrested over the weekend after a foreign national said he was assaulted as he was walking home from work.
According to police, a young man filed a complaint on Saturday around noon saying he was brutally beaten by two unknown males who in the old part of downtown in Nicosia.
The alleged incident took place Friday night on Sofocleous Street according to the complainant, who said he was initially shouted at from a moving car that eventually stopped with two young males getting out.
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou told state radio on Monday morning that the 23-year-old victim, according to the complaint, initially asked the perpetrators what they wanted from him, with one of them striking the foreign national and then the other joining in.
Officers reportedly declined to take his statement until after he would be seen by a doctor, with the young man returning hours later to file a complaint on Saturday noon
Local media said the victim fell down as he was being struck violently, with the two men also hurling insults at him before fleeing the scene on foot. A third person believed not to have been involved, described as the driver, also drove away.
After the young man went to police to file a complaint late into the night, officers reportedly declined to take his statement, prompting him instead to go the Emergency Room at Nicosia General Hospital to get treatment as well as a signed medical certificate from a doctor.
Local media said the alleged victim spent several hours in the hospital waiting room. He was finally seen by a doctor who said the young man had sustained multiple fractures but described his condition at the time as unknown. Additional reports said he suffered cervical lordosis, a bump in the head, and a cut in the upper lip.
After the young man returned to the police station, he filed an official complaint on Saturday noon at 12:20pm, said Andreou, who added that police later arrested two individuals in the evening on assault charges, as well as on suspicion of felony conspiracy and racially-motivated crime.
Andreou said the two suspects were a 19-year-old Greek Cypriot and a 21-year-old Permanent Resident, whose nationality had not been revealed.
Video footage from security camera was said to be part of the investigation, with Andreou clarifying that nothing has been ruled out including offenses linked to racism and xenophobia.