A US report on Cyprus highlights significant human rights issues including reports of abuse and harsh conditions in detention centers for asylum seekers, while also taking note of a rise in antisemitism.
In its annual country assessment, the US State Department report on Human Rights in Cyprus for 2022 pointed to “significant human rights issues” and “credible reports of harsh prison and detention center conditions, particularly for asylum seekers.”
The report picked up on specific cases in the media involving racism, while it also highlighted illegal pushbacks of irregular migrants, overcrowded prisons and migrant detention centers, labor exploitation incidents, and clampdowns on non-governmental organizations.
But while allegations of abuse had been known through media reports, there was also new information about antisemitism in Cyprus.
'We submit these country reports in service to our common humanity'
A rise in cases involving antisemitism was noted in the report compared to zero cases reported to police in 2021, even as a handful of complaints were known amongst members of the Jewish community.
This year’s report pointed to an increase of antisemitic verbal harassment in public places, threats on social media and against Jewish students at schools, vandalism, attacks, and pro-Nazi graffiti.
The report also highlighted an incident involving a rabbi, who presides over the Jewish community in the north of the island, saying he was denied entry at Larnaca airport in the south after he was flagged in the system.
State Secretary Antony Blinken said country reports were meticulously compiled after using credible information from US embassies and consulates abroad, foreign government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, jurists and legal experts, journalists, academics, human rights defenders, labor activists, as well as published reports.
“As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. We submit these country reports in service to our common humanity,” Blinken said.