The Cyprus Mail Reports: A demonstration is being organised outside the Famagusta district court on Tuesday in support of a British teen being sentenced for public mischief, after alleging she was gang-raped this past summer in Ayia Napa, the non-governmental organisation Kisa said on Friday.
Kisa called on people to gather outside the court at 8:30am, to show support for the girl, 19, who faces up to a year of jail-time for the conviction.
The teen alleged she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the resort on July 17, but she has said Cypriot police forced her to sign a retraction statement which led to her being convicted of public mischief.
Earlier on Friday, the girl appealed to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring her home, according to reports in UK media.
Kisa, on its part, said they were on the girl’s side from the first moment the case was brought to light. The NGO also brought to light several other issues guests have had at the hotel where the girl stayed.
One girl, based on Trip Advisor reviews, said she was almost raped, after her hotel room was broken into by an unknown man.
The statement posted by the former hotel guest on July 18, 2019 said: “Please do not stay here. I’m writing this review a month on from my stay at this hotel and I’m scarred from my experience.”
She added she is 18 and that one night after feeling unwell from sunburn, she returned to her room and got ready for bed. The website user said she was awoken by a man, who broke in through the balcony door, who flipped her over, pinned her down and attempted to rape her. She claimed she told hotel staff, who did nothing about the incident and didn’t change her room or call police.
Regarding the British teen awaiting sentencing, Kisa said the girl found the hotel through an advertisement posted online at the summertakeover.com/resort/ayia-napa/ website, which stated: “Finding your dream job in one of our amazing resorts couldn’t be easier when you travel with …….Summer Takeover. Our experienced reps are there to guide you every step of the way to ensure that you find your dream summer work.”
According to Kisa, the girl found anything but a dream job, as when she arrived instead of finding a safe place of work, she found ‘horrible’ conditions and was given a ‘24-hour free drinking bracelet’ by the hotel.
“No one knows how much drink and what else was given along with that,” Kisa said, adding it was a method to lower inhibitions and drive people to abuse substances easily.
Earlier, the teen told The Sun newspaper: “Every second of this ordeal has been a waking nightmare.”
“I’m 19 and all I want to do is clear my name and come home to my family,” she added.
“I would say to both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, both of whom are fathers, please support me with your actions, not just with your words.”
The paper also reported that the Foreign Office had on Thursday contacted the teenager’s family for the first time since she was convicted.
When contacted for comment, Number 10 reissued the Foreign Office statement from the day of the woman’s conviction, saying it was “seriously concerned” about the “fair trial guarantees in this deeply distressing case and we will be raising the issue with Cypriot authorities”.
Pressure has continued to mount on the Cypriot authorities over the case, and one of the country’s former justice ministers said the public in Cyprus feel the 19-year-old “has been punished enough”.
Kypros Chrysostomides, who has commented previously on the case, was among a number of prominent legal figures in Cyprus who wrote to attorney general Costas Clerides urging him to intervene in the case.
He told BBC Breakfast on Friday: “The majority of the public in Cyprus feels that the young lady has already been punished enough. We believe that the attorney general, who is the appropriate organ to exercise, initiate or discontinue criminal proceedings, should have done that already for the public interest.”
“We respectfully suggested that, along with other ex-officials like myself and senior lawyers, but his reply was that proceedings were already in process and therefore he could not interfere in the Court of Justice proceedings.”
Michael Polak, a British human right lawyer from Justice Abroad, a legal aid group providing help to the teen’s family, told The Independent she was a victim of a “grave injustice and should be pardoned”.
“There are calls for the attorney general to take over her case and end it. We are calling for him to intervene. We believe she should never have been put on trial. We want the teen to leave Cyprus without a conviction.”
Former attorney general Alecos Markides also spoke out and wrote to Clerides last November. He has said publicly: “Is the Cypriot justice system so inflexible that it would not allow some leniency to a 19-year-old girl, who had no prior run-ins with the law and was exposed in a video that she did not circulate herself, and so on, how are we going to justify all this?”
COMMENT: This goes beyond what we perceive as the truth, we may all look in to it, read whatever we can and form an opinion, but it is just that, an opinion, it is wrong for people to pick on slithers of information and go off on tangents and I for one am sick of seeing the same handful of people on so many Cyprus Mail threads, making every issue a political slanging match about Cyprus and Turkey.
The most important and relevant facts are that the Judicial process was not conducted correctly. Due to the fact that there have been many question marks about the Cypriot Police, it was made compulsory for the accused to have legal representation. If they insist that they do not, they are required to sign a statement to that effect in front of a whiteness. I am personally aware of cases involving British Nationals, who were requested to go on call the the British Commissioner, confirming their refusal for representation first.
This was not done, that retraction is not worth the paper is is written on, it was not a legal basis for those boys to have been released and it certainly was not grounds to prosecute the poor girl, who has since been found guilty in a Kangaroo court (is there any other type in Cyprus?) as there is no trial by Jury, making her the victim yet again.
Since this case has been brought to the attention of the public, other women, or their families have spoken up to say that they have had similar treatment, by the Cypriot Police in the past.
We may not know the full timeline of events on that night, but we do know that that posting that video without her permission is a crime and if it were purely about that, the girl could have reported them for that only. On the balance of probability, the girl had withdrawn her consent at some point and it was not respected, why do so many people refuse to accept that NO MEANS NO???
Whatever the course of events, this has highlighted the failings of the Cypriot Police and judicial system, not before time and if there is one thing that is legally factual it is this, those boys should not have been released based on a statement signed under duress, the girl should not have been charged, she should not have gone to trial and she should have NEVER been found guilty.
This case could more damaging for Cyprus than anyone could imagine, but perhaps that is a good thing, because there is no doubt that the Cypriot Police need serious investigating.
The Cyprus Mail reported: The UK government has said it is “seriously concerned” about the fairness of the trial of the British woman found guilty on Monday of lying about being gang raped in Ayia Napa.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office has said the UK is “seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees” in the “deeply distressing case” of the 19-year-old. The Foreign Office said it will be raising the issue with the Cypriot authorities.
The defence team of the British woman found guilty by the court in Paralimni of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli tourists in Ayia Napa in July, said it is to appeal to the Supreme Court and will go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
The woman was convicted of a single count of public mischief by the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni after judge Michalis Papathanasiou said prosecutors had proved her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She is to be sentenced on January 7 where she faces up to a year in jail and a 1,700 euro fine.
Defence lawyer Nicoletta Charalambidou told a mob of reporters and cameramen outside the court that they planned to appeal against the verdict. This could take as much as four years.
“The decision of the court is respected,” she said. “However, we respectfully disagree with it. We believe there have been many violations of the procedure and the rights of a fair trial of our client have been violated. We are planning to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, and if justice fails … we are planning to take our case to the European Court of Human Rights.”
Dressed in a sleeveless black top and black trousers with her head covered and accompanied by her mother, the convicted teen gave a thumbs-up to a group of supporters as she left the courthouse. Both she and her mother wore masks depicting a pair of lips sewn together that were given to them by demonstrators outside the court.
Public mischief is defined under the law “as knowingly providing police with a false statement concerning an imaginary offence”.
The 19-year-old who has not been named in the media, said she was attacked and raped by 12 Israeli tourists – who had filmed the incident – in an Ayia Napa hotel room on July 17 but retracted the allegation ten days later after which charges of public mischief were brought. She spent a month in jail and was released in August but has not been allowed to leave the island.
The Israelis, who denied rape, were released and returned home. However the woman and her defence team later said she had not been afforded due process by the authorities and that the retraction statement was obtained by police under duress, and that in fact she had not written it at all.
But judge Papathanasiou, in his ruling said the teen had not told the truth and had tried to deceive the court with “convenient” and “evasive” statements.
He ruled that the interrogation did not amount to undue pressure and her statement – which her defence team claimed did not appear to have been written by a native English speaker – was admissible.
“My conclusion is that the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” he said in his verdict. He said the young woman’s claims had been inconsistent and that she had tried to mislead the court.
“The defendant gave police a false rape claim, while having full knowledge that this was a lie. During her testimony, the defendant did not make a good impression, she did not tell the truth, and tried to mislead the court.”
The teen had told a hearing earlier in the month that she initially agreed to have sex with one of the accused men, a man identified only as Sam, 21, who she met while working in Ayia Napa. She said his friends then burst into the room and she shouted out “No.”
“I said I am not doing that and told them all to go,” she said. “They left for a few seconds and Sam told me to lie on the bed and he got on his knees and put them on my shoulders.” She said she was then pinned down and raped multiple times by members of the group who were aged between 15 and 22.
“I tried to cross my legs. I was trying to throw my arms about,” she told the court. “I don’t know how many of them raped me. I couldn’t see.”
Nir Yaslovitzh, a lawyer representing some of the Israelis said on Monday: “I applaud the court’s decision to convict. I hope the court will find it appropriate to aggravate the punishment imposed on the girl, who refuses to this day to take responsibility for the horrible act she’s done against the boys.”
The judge ruled there had been no rape or violence, and that police had carried out a thorough investigation. He said his decision was backed by video evidence showing the teen having consensual sex.
“The reason why she initially gave false statements was because she realised that she was being recorded while she was having sexual intercourse and so she was placed in a difficult position and felt embarrassed. She then apologised saying she had made a mistake by filing a false statement,” the verdict said. This was the only time she had told the truth, the judge ruled.
“She tried to avoid giving answers and part of her statements could not be accepted. I could observe no reliability on her part of her defence. She was never clear on what happened. She was not stating the truth and I reject the version she gave to the court.”
Papathanasiou said five witnesses had testified for the prosecution and had included evidence, and this testimony, he said, was credible.
“They made a very good impression. They gave direct and clear answers to the questions they were asked and their replies left no room for dispute.”
The judge rejected the testimony on behalf of the defendant given by former state pathologist Marios Matsakis who testified that the rape kit exam presented in court as evidence was incomplete. ”There was no examination of the teenager’s clothing which is surprising,” Matsakis had told the court, adding that the woman was “obviously in bad shape with a large number of external injuries, most of which were recent”.
Papathanassiou branded Matsakis’ testimony “unreliable” and “arbitrary”.
“He clearly tried to serve the needs of the defence and did not substantiate his conclusions. His documentation was generic and does not represent the documentation one would expect from a forensic doctor,” the ruling said. On the contrary the examination of the woman by the designated state pathologist in the presence of a gynaecologist found no evidence of rape or violence.
The court in its ruling also rejected positions taken by the defence in respect of alleged police misconduct, infringement of the defendant’s right to a fair trial and infringement of her rights, criminal activity and malicious violence.”
During mitigation, after the verdict was read out, defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri asked the judge for leniency and a suspended sentence, citing her young age and saying that the woman had been under strong psychological pressure at the time.
“She’s been in prison for one month and in Cyprus, effectively as a prisoner, for five. She’s lost her friends, her place at university, her social life. She now has psychological problems as a result of the incident. She should be allowed home to be treated,” said Pekri.
Justice Abroad, which has been assisting the British woman and her family confirmed in a statement the defence team would be appealing the decision to the Supreme Court of Cyprus and from there to the European Court of Human Rights if the teenager could not receive justice in Cyprus before the Supreme Court.
The group’s Michael Polak said: “Although the defence team is very disappointed with the decision of the court having put a lot of effort into the lengthy trial process and after bringing expert evidence before the court we are not surprised by the result given the frequent refusal during the trial of the judge to consider evidence which supported the fact that the teenager had been raped.”
He added: “Shutting down questioning from our Cypriot advocates and the production of evidence into the trial on a handful of occasions the judge stridently stated ‘this is not a rape case, I will not consider whether she was raped or not’. We have found it incredibly difficult to follow this logic given that an essential element of the offence is for there to be a ‘false statement concerning an imaginary offence’ and therefore, clearly if the teenager was raped, she cannot be guilty.”
He said this would form a ground of appeal before the Supreme Court of Cyprus along with a number of what he described as failings in the trial process which resulted in the teenager not receiving a fair trial before the district court as guaranteed by Cypriot law as well as both European Community Law and European Human Rights law.
The teenager’s family is continuing to raise funds on the Go Fund Me page www.gofundme.com/f/Help-Teen-Victim-Get-Justice-In-Cyprus and wished to thank all those from the United Kingdom, Israel, and the rest of the world who have contributed to the fundraising campaign at what is a difficult and unexpected time for them, Justice Abroad said.
As the defendant left the court supporters shouted: “We are with you. We know. We believe you.”
Argentoula Ioannou from the Network Against Violence Against Women told media: “I think the verdict was wrong because it was decided on the wrong basis. That is why the judge demanded in the process of the trial that he didn’t want to hear anything of the rape.
She added: “We are here to show solidarity for the young lady who instead of being treated as a complainant for the rape that she suffered is here accused of public mischief. Unfortunately, we strongly believe that the rights of this young lady have been violated.”
This victim was never protected, from the first instance,” said Zelia Gregoriou, an activist. “From the first instance, she was raped again and again by the press, by society and the legal system,” she told Reuters.
The defence in the trial of a British woman charged with public nuisance after she withdrew a rape claim, said on Thursday the police investigation of her complaint had been flawed and officers displayed the wrong attitude towards the girl and her complaint.
The two sides on Thursday submitted their closing arguments in writing in the case that shocked the island back in July after the woman claimed she had been gang-raped by a group of 12 Israeli men but two weeks later signed a police statement retracting the claim.
She was charged with causing a public nuisance but then said her retraction was made under duress.
The court will deliver its verdict on December 30.
Summarising her arguments, the defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri said the police “committed important omissions and violations at the investigation stage”, not fully examining the Israeli men’s telephone data and not “putting proper measures in place to protect the crime scene”.
Pekri said the police also failed to conduct an identity parade while the state pathologist who examined the woman had formed the wrong idea as to the events of the case.
“His final report is deficient, and his findings were based on wrong information and guidance,” she said, asking the court to reject it as unreliable.
The defence also argued that the woman’s right to a fair trial had been affected because the evidence was not disclosed fully and in time.
Pekri further suggested that her client’s rights as a victim of crime and gender violence were also violated.
“The rape report the defendant filed on July 17, 2019 was not false and consequently the crime of rape committed against her on the particular day was not a figment of her imagination,” the lawyer said.
The 19-year-old had claimed that the statement in which she had recanted her rape complaint had been extracted under duress but a trial within a trial decided otherwise.
Prosecutor Adamos Demosthenous argued that the evidence presented by the state was overwhelming and left no doubt over the defendant’s guilt.
“In her statement she even confessed to making a false rape complaint, revealing her motive at the same time,” he said.
The prosecutor said the defendant admitted that she felt shame and humiliation when she realised she was being recorded while having intercourse, something she kept from the investigators and only revealed in her second statement.
“… It proves she had kept it a secret just so her motive would not be revealed,” he said.
That the defendant’s report “was false and related to an imaginary offence was confirmed by the July 17 video submitted as evidence. In it, the defendant is seen engaging in amorous antics with one of the individuals she reported of raping her and while the video was recorded at 2.57 in the morning, the woman reported that her rape started at around 12.30am.”
However they left out:
“Με το τέλος της διαδικασίας η κατηγορούμενη ζήτησε από τον Πρόεδρο του Σώματος να ορίσει την ημερομηνία απόφασης του πιο σύντομα με τον τελευταίο να αναφέρει στην δικηγόρο της πως «φτάσαμε στο τέλος της διαδικασίας και η πελάτισσα σας εξακολουθεί να δείχνει ασέβεια προς το Δικαστήριο».”
Translates to : “At the end of the proceedings, the defendant asked the President of the House to set a date for his decision sooner with the latter reporting to her lawyer that ‘we have reached the end of the proceedings and your client is still disrespectful to the Court’.”
Well-known forensic pathologist Marios Matsakis testified on Friday that the medical conclusions of his state-employed colleague in the Ayia Napa rape case were wrong and that there was evidence of rape.
State pathologist Sophocles Sophocleous had told Famagusta district court last week that a British teenager who claims she was raped by a group of young Israeli tourists in Ayia Napa in July bore no physical signs consistent with a serious sexual assault. Matsakis, giving evidence for defence, told the same court on Friday that both the report’s findings as well as special DNA tests and photographs prove that “the rape could take place and are consistent with the rape taking place”.
Matsakis said that he disagreed with Sophocleous who recorded only a few light bruises on the young woman’s thighs and scratches on her legs that were not consistent with gang rape. Matsakis said that many of the bruises Sophocleous dismissed as “old” were actually from the same period as the alleged rape.
“I don’t have any doubts that violence was exercised on the body of the examined person to have these bruises. I am sure violence was exercised,” he said.
“Even if the bruises and injuries on the teenager’s body were just the ones recorded by Sophoclous my conclusion would be the same: they are consistent with the rape taken place.”
He said that even if there had been no physical signs of a serios physical assault on the teenager’s body, that would not have meant that the rape hadn’t take place because “absence of trauma to a rape victim does not negate the validity of her claim of rape.”
The expert quoted a passage from Forensic Pathology, a book written by Dominic and Vincent DiMaio: “In an analysis of 451 rape victims examined at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas only 34 per cent showed any evidence of trauma (abrasions, contusions, lacerations)”
Matsakis criticised the way Sophocleous conducted the examinations, especially the fact that the upper part of the 19-year-old’s body was not examined while according to the testimony she gave last week, during the alleged rape one of the Israelis “put his knees on her shoulders” so she could not move.
“The examination was not done correctly. The report is deficient. The photography is deficient. The upper part of the body, the torso, was not photographed. In fact, I doubt it was examined at all. There was no proper examination of the vagina either, which is wrong, especially since blood has been found,” Matsakis said.
The expert also quoted from the DNA test report done by a geneticist that registered the presence of DNA from four suspects on the accused’s body, her clothes, the inside of the condom found in the Pambos Rock Hotel’s room where the alleged rape took place as well as the bed sheets in the same room.
During the cross-examination, state prosecutor Adam Demosthenous showed Matsakis the medical reports of the Israeli men the teenager accused of the alleged rape.
“I didn’t see these reports before,” the expert told the Cyprus Mail after the cross-examination. “Thanks to the fact that the prosecutor showed them to me I found out that three of these men had some injuries. This helps my case. I said to him ‘thank you very much’. I used them to my advantage.”
The teenager claimed in July that she had been gang-raped by the group of Israeli men but two weeks later signed a police statement in which she retracted the claim. She is on a trial on a charge of public mischief for which she could be jailed for a year.
Her lawyers insist she was raped and only signed the retraction because she was suffering from extreme trauma and subjected to aggressive questioning by police officers without a lawyer or family member for eight hours.
The trial case will continue next Thursday with closing submission by the prosecutor and defence team.
A probe will be launched to see if social welfare officials did everything possible to help a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide last week and who was experiencing serious poverty and other issues, the department said on Tuesday.
The boy, Stylianos, was found dead by his father on Thursday evening at a farm in a village in the Nicosia district.
Following reports of psychological problems and domestic violence in the boy’s family, social welfare services found themselves in hot water over whether they had handled the case properly and whether the boy’s death could have been prevented.
What a terrible situation, when the life of a child is lost under such tragic conditions, it is not only the family who are to blame, the burden of responsibility falls much further afield. The Social Services are ultimately responsible for ALL CHILDREN, it is their duty to monitor them at school, at home and anywhere they possibly can.
More often than not, there are indicators, with teachers being the first point of contact. It is not just a few individuals who carry the burden of responsibility here, it is Cyprus as a whole, because it is our apathy that allows these incompetent people to take salaries, they do not deserve.
If this young person is not to have died in vain, then we as a community must ensure that those who are responsible for GROSS NEGLIGENCE are not only brought to account for their actions, or lack of, but we must not allow this to be swept under the proverbial carpet.
I feel, most strongly, that we should not only be judged, but should judge ourselves on how far we go to protect the innocent.
As a father who has also had to stand by and watch the negligence of these people fail my own child, I would like to see this boy inspire us to protect other children………….at any cost.
The Cyprus Mail reports:
The government branded on Saturday media reports linking President Nicos Anastasiades and his law firm to the so-called Troika laundromat as libellous and devoid of reality.
A report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) released on Wednesday linked the president and his law firm with the Troika Laundromat, a network of shell companies that operated from 2006 to 2013 moving at least $4.6 billion and enabling its users to hide assets, evade taxes or launder money.
In a statement on Friday, main opposition Akel said it was concerned by the reports which linked Cyprus with money laundering and implicating the president and his law firm in suspicious dealings.
“The Republic of Cyprus is being derided since it is implicated in suspicious money dealings, as well as Mr Anastasiades himself,” the party said.
I really don’t know why he is surprised, his administration has presided over some horrendous corruption scandals, he lied to the people before the haircut in 2013, promising that it would not happen, then he had the audacity to imply that his hand was forced by the EU, when it has transpired since that he instigated it, not before ensuring that his family and friends had moved their money to safety. More than SIX YEARS later, we have still been kept in the dark about the 5% commission that the Deutsche Bank offered to dump the toxic bonds that the Cyprus Popular Bank and the Bank of Cyprus bought……….who received that money?
Then he personally pardoned sex offenders, a hit and run driver (Efi Herodotou) who fled the scene, leaving an innocent man to die, then she fled the country for years, on her return when she was jailed, he pardoned her the following year. I’m sure it is no coincidence that her father is an army officer and one of the inner-circle of ‘friends’ who are above the law in Cyprus.
Then there was the disgrace of the coop bank, which is being revealed to have operated not only with gross negligence, but actions bordering on ‘Loan Sharking’ with some of their overcharges being calculated to be in excess of 40% of many outstanding balances! This has left many people hunted by asset management like Altamira, just as the court fee structure has been changed to make it even more expensive for them to defend themselves, absolutely shameful!
There is no transparency in government accounting, no moral compass in domestic policy, Cypriots finding themselves unable to afford a home because under the supervision of this administration, Cyprus is being sold off to overseas investors in exchange for ‘golden Visas’ creating a fake bubble with NO REGARD to the indigenous population that has a right to a home, but all too often cannot afford one.
You sir, have a lot to answer for, the public have a right to place their faith in a fair and trustworthy administration, is that really the case?
NOBODY expected auditors, lawyers and business organisations to embrace finance minister Harris Georgiades’ suggestion for an increase of corporate tax from 12.5% to 15%. Low corporate tax, which was 10% before the economic crisis and 4% for foreign businesses before entry to the EU, was arguably the main incentive for foreign companies setting up in Cyprus. For companies making good profits, relocation costs could be covered from the first tax year’s additional profit earnings, which made the move a no-brainer.
The finance ministry floated the idea of raising corporate tax on Tuesday and within 24 hours representatives of the business community met at the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and unanimously rejected it. Not only this, but in a statement issued by all participants they demanded “an immediate end to any discussion regarding the particular issue and the express revocation of the ministry’s intention.”
It’s quite interesting how the ROC has had its arm twisted by the EU (no doubt instigated by certain other members with an agenda) to capitulate to actually cutting its own throat.
Prior to joining the EU, Cyprus had an offshore tax rate of 4%, which encouraged companies from around the world to register here, putting Cyprus on course to become the Switzerland of the Med. However, following the money grabbing haircut and successive hikes in the rate of tax, that position has been slipping and will inevitably fall further, should the rate rise again.
Why should corporations avoid tax you may ask? Well, let’s take a look at Gibraltar, which has always been a tax haven:
Corporate tax is just 10% and personal tax is low, with the tax rate on income over £700,000 falling to just 5%.
It seems to me, that this administration is making a grave error, rising tax rates are a sure way to put the economy on a downward spiral, as they gradually need to take more and more, from less and less contributors, as companies simply move elsewhere.
Cyprus entered the Empire under rather unusual circumstances in 1878. The Ottoman Empire had just been at war with Russia and were very much in danger of losing control of their capital Constantinople. The British intervened in the crisis on the side of the Ottoman Turks by sending a fleet to intimidate the Russians. The Ottoman Sultan was so thankful for the British intervention that he granted the control of the island of Cyprus to the British under the Cyprus Convention.
The timing was quite auspicious for the British, the Suez Canal had opened less than a decade before and so the sea-borne traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean was rising substantially. Much of this traffic was British en route to or from India. Some 4 years later, the British would use the island as a major base of operations for the invasion and occupation of Egypt. This would confirm Britain’s growing dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus’ role would rise commensurate with that influence.
The first Briton who was placed in charge of the administration was given the title of “High Commissioner” and was Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913). The British faced a major political problem on the island. The indigenous Cypriots believed it their natural right to unite the island with Greece following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The British authorities carried out the first census in 1881, the total population of Cyprus was 186,173, of whom 137,631 (73.9%) were Greeks, 45,438 (24.4%) were Turks and 3,084 (1.7%) were minorities of Maronites, Latins and Armenians. Bishop of Kitium Kyprianos addressed Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley upon his arrival in Larnaca in a speech on the 22nd of July 1878 saying “We (Greeks) accept the change of the government, because we believe that Great Britain will eventually help Cyprus, just like with the Ionian islands, unite Cyprus with mother Greece”.
By 1906 the major harbour at Famagusta had been completed for this purpose. The British were supposed to be running Cyprus on behalf of the Ottomans, but this informal agreement would be boldly ended at the outbreak of World War One, when the Turks and British found themselves on opposing sides. Indeed many of the Greek Cypriots on the island, as British subjects, joined the British Army and fought against the Ottomans. The island itself was a useful base of operations against the Turks. It became a particularly useful staging area for the Dardanelles campaign.
While the Cypriots at first welcomed British rule hoping that they would gradually achieve prosperity, democracy and national liberation, they became disillusioned. The British imposed heavy taxes to cover the compensation which they were paying to the Sultan for having conceded Cyprus to them. Moreover, the people were not given the right to participate in the administration of the island, since all powers were reserved to the High Commissioner and to London.
House in Nicosia CBD built in British colonisation era
Cyprus was part of the British Empire from 1914 under military occupation from 1914–1925 and a Crown colony from 1925–1960. However, Cyprus’ status as a protectorate of the British Empire ended in 1914 when the Ottoman Empire declared war against the Triple Entente powers, which included Great Britain. Cyprus was then annexed by the British Empire on 5 November 1914. During the course of the First World War Britain offered to cede Cyprus to Greece if they would fulfil treaty obligations to attack Bulgaria, but Greece declined.
Britain proclaimed Cyprus the Crown colony of British Cyprus in 1925, under an undemocratic constitution. It kept the original Legislative Council that had been formulated in 1882. The Greek majority found that it could not break the constitutional deadlock as the Turkish minority would side with the British appointed representatives. Riots broke out in 1931 over the imposition of certain taxes. This would result in the death of six civilians and the burning down of the British Government house in Nicosia. The constitution would be suspended as a result and direct rule imposed.
International recognition of the new Republic of Turkey resulted from the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 in which the new Turkish government formally recognised Britain’s sovereignty over Cyprus (article 20). The administration was reformed in the latter 1920s, and some members of the Legislative Council (established 1926) were elected by the Cypriots, but their participation was very marginal. The Legislative Council was abolished in 1931.
Greek Cypriots believed the circumstances were right to demand union of the island with Greece (enosis), as many of the Aegean and Ionian islands had done following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In the years that followed, Greek Cypriots’ demands for enosis (union with Greece), which the British opposed, developed rapidly during the 1930s, leading to the destruction of the Government House in Nicosia, which was burnt down in the 1931 Cyprus Revolt.
The period between October 1931 and October 1940 proved to be a very difficult one for the Cypriots. The Governor at the time, Sir Richmond Palmer, took a number of suppressive measures including limitations on the administration and functioning of Greek schools, and prohibition of trade unions and associations of any kind and form. This regime became known as “Palmerokratia”, named after the Governor. Its aim was to prevent local public interest in politics. There were strong protests against the regime but the suppressive measures were not lifted until the beginning of the Second World War, during which more than thirty thousand Cypriots joined the British armed forces. In World War Two, the Greek population would rally whole heartedly behind the British – especially after the Italian invasion of mainland Greece and the subsequent arrival of German forces there. Some 30,000 islanders volunteered to fight for the British. The island itself was actually spared much of the fighting apart from air raids. It would remain in British possession and would prove an invaluable staging and refuelling post and would ensure that the Eastern end of the Mediterranean remain reasonably secure for the British.
Endeavours by the British to introduce constitutional government designed to develop some participation without leading to enosis failed, despite determined efforts to achieve some semblance of liberal and democratic government, notably by the post-war Labour government in Britain.
In 1948, King Paul of Greece declared that Cyprus desired union with Greece. In 1950 the Orthodox Church of Cyprus presented a referendum according to which around 97% of the Greek Cypriot population wanted the union. The United Nations accepted the Greek petition and enosis became an international issue. In 1952 both Greece and Turkey became members of NATO. After the war, a delegation from Cyprus submitted a demand for enosis to London. The demand was rejected but the British proposed a more liberal constitution and a 10-year programme of social and economic development.
Led by Archbishop Makarios, the Greek Cypriot demand for enosis emerged with new force in the 1950s, when Greece began to accord it support on the international scene. This attempt to win world support alerted Turkey and alarmed the Turkish Cypriots.
The British withdrawal from Egypt led to Cyprus becoming the new location for their Middle East Headquarters.
The island took on a new strategic importance for the British after Egypt became independent in 1952. Cyprus’ strategic situation near to an increasingly volatile Middle East and not far from the Suez Canal shipping lanes. Even after the 1956 Suez debacle (much of which was coordinated from Cyprus), it still provided a useful monitoring station and also played a role in the developing Cold War and supporting NATO allies like Turkey and Greece despite their difficulties with one another. The Soviet Union’s currying of favour with various Middle Eastern regimes in the 1950s and 1960s combined with its Black Sea Fleet in the region meant that Cyprus was well placed to provide surveillance, intelligence and military responsiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Rising Greek nationalism in the post war period saw political tensions rise as the Greek Cypriots on the island wanted to unite with Greece, whilst the Turkish Cypriots were equally keen to join with Turkey. Riots became increasingly violent as the British themselves resisted claims from both sides in order to keep their important military bases there and to try and keep one group being subjugated by the other. From 1955, the Greek Cypriot EOKA started a campaign of violence to speed up the process for some form of independence. The British responded in November of that year by declaring a State of Emergency.
When international pressure did not suffice to make Britain respond as required, violence escalated with a campaign against the colonial power organised by EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston). Its leader, Colonel George Grivas, created and directed an effective campaign beginning in 1955. The first bombs were set off on April 1, followed by leaflets. Attacks on police stations started on June 19. The British Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency on 26 November 1955.
For the next four years EOKA attacked British or British-connected targets and those Cypriots it accused of collaboration. Archbishop Makarios and other Cypriot clergy and political leaders were forced into exile in the Seychelles. 371 British servicemen died fighting the independence movement during the Cyprus Emergency, including over 20 in the Operation Lucky Alphonse.
Much of the strategic rationale for maintaining Cyprus would disappear after the Suez Canal debacle in 1956 which saw Britain climb down from their invasion of the canal zone. In many ways this event marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East. Consequently nationalists on the island of Cyprus took heart and increased their demands for independence. Although the intractable demands of the two major constituencies made these negotiations particularly difficult
Easily infiltrated by Greek Cypriot sympathisers working for them in various ancillary tasks, the British security forces had to exert great efforts under Field Marshal Sir John Harding to suppress the independence movement. They were much more successful than is often recognised, though the attacks on British personnel never quite ceased. Makarios was exiled, suspected of involvement in the EOKA campaign, but was released when EOKA, exhausted but still determined to fight, agreed to cease hostilities on the Archbishop’s release and return.
From mid-1956 onwards there were constant discussions in NATO, but all efforts to create an independent Cyprus which would be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations were futile.
The Turkish Cypriot response to the challenges posed by the prospect of decolonization and the breakdown of the colonial order was to adopt the call for partition (taksim). Taksim became the slogan which was used by the increasingly militant Turkish Cypriots in an attempt to mirror the Greek cry of ‘enosis’. In 1957 Küçük declared during a visit to Ankara that Turkey would claim the northern half of the island.
In April 1957, in the new conditions made obvious by the Suez Crisis debacle, the British government accepted that bases on Cyprus were an acceptable alternative to Cyprus as a base. This produced a much more relaxed British attitude to the problem. It was now to be solved in conjunction with Greece and Turkey, the latter thoroughly alerted to the dangers of enosis for the Turkish Cypriot population.
Violence was renewed in Cyprus by EOKA, but it increasingly drew in the Turkish community when a new plan for unitary self-government, of British Governor Sir Hugh Foot, incited Turkish Cypriot riots and produced a hostile response from the Turkish government. Violence between the two communities developed into a new and deadly feature of the situation.
In 1957 the U.N. decided that the issue should be resolved according to its Statutory Map. The exiles returned, and both sides began a series of violent acts against each other. In the few years that existed before the Zürich and London Agreements (1959 /1960) Greece tried again to win international recognition and support for the cause of enosis at the U.N. against a background of renewed and continuing EOKA violence directed against the British. It was to no avail. Eventually Greece had to recognise that Turkey was now a vitally interested party in the dispute.
Grivas and EOKA also had to accept the changed situation. Makarios could see no way of excluding Turkey from participating in any solutions. It was widely believed by the Greek-Cypriots that Britain had promoted the Turkish-Cypriot case, thus preventing the achievement of enosis.
In 1958 the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan prepared new proposals for Cyprus, but his plan which was a form of partition, was rejected by Archbishop Makarios. The Archbishop declared that he would only accept a proposal which guaranteed independence, excluding both Enosis and partition.
On February 19, 1959 the Zürich agreement attempted to end the conflict. Without the presence of either the Greek or the Turkish sides, the UK outlined a Cypriot constitution, which was eventually accepted by both sides. Both Greece and Turkey along with Britain were appointed as guarantors of the island’s integrity.
On August 16, 1960 Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom, after the long anti-British campaign by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters), a guerrilla group which desired political union with Greece, or enosis. Archbishop Makarios III, a charismatic religious and political leader, was elected the first president of independent Cyprus. In 1961 it became the 99th member of the United Nations.
The Zurich agreement, however, did not succeed in establishing cooperation between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot populations. The Greek Cypriots argued that the complex mechanisms introduced to protect Turkish Cypriot interests were obstacles to efficient government and as such developed the Akritas Plan aimed at forcing all Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians from government so as not to disrupt Greek Cypriot plans of enosis. Both sides continued the violence. Turkey threatened to intervene on the island.
When the British took control of Cyprus in 1878, they had to pay the Ottomans an annual levy, for which they taxed the Cypriots excessively, causing widespread poverty and resentment. It is understandable that when a population is exploited to this degree, that they will not only be prepared to take drastic actions, (desperate people, take desperate measures) but also, that very desperation makes them vulnerable to political exploitation. In this brief historical account, we see one word appear more than any other ENOSIS!
In 1828, modern Greece’s first president Ioannis Kapodistrias called for union of Cyprus with Greece, and numerous minor uprisings took place, For the main part, this was kept under wraps until it resurfaced in 1915, when the British offered Cyprus to Greece, in return for them joining the allies in war effort, but the offer was withdrawn before Greece joined, was this the moment that Pandora’s box was opened?
One thing is for certain, the Greek Orthodox Church, which has a dream of a new Byzantine empire has always encouraged the desire for Enosis, for a Greek orthodox empire with the church at its centre. Let us not forget that the Byzantine empire eroded and almost self-destructed as a result of its own treachery. In the rare instance that you will run in to a Greek Orthodox priest who will actually admit the reality, they will confirm this. However, before we condemn the Cypriot public for their blind faith in the church and enosis, we must take in to account the literacy rates at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, which were around 30%. A situation that was exploited not only by the British, but also by the church, which had encouraged Cypriots to out thousands of acres of land in the name of the church, to avoid taxation by the Ottomans, but then the church actually kept it and to this day, they are profiting from it with the development of exclusive golf resorts.
This was a period when Cypriots were raised with one mindset, union with Greece. following the October riots of 1931, the desire to rid Cyprus of the British and pursue union with Greece began to increase rapidly, until the formation of EOKA when the struggle for independence began.
The words “struggle for independence” seem so ironic as for many, it was not a struggle for independence, it was a struggle to take sovereignty away from the British and hand it to Greece. This campaign for freedom was one of the first time in history that the Cypriot people took on a military giant and forced them to desperately seek a manner in which to concede without losing face. Sadly the British were not going to take this lightly.
When filed Marshal Harding arrived in October 1955, the situation in Cyprus was about to take a sinister turn. He not only set about enforcing draconian measures, he also set about implementing a policy of divide and conquer. He instigated a division between the communities that remains to this day. He instigated the assassination of innocent people on each side, then blaming the other, to cause social unrest to break the people.
At the same time, Girogios Grivas began to diver the campaign against Turkish Cypriots, playing right in to the hands of the British, who were happy to fan the flames. One famous EOKA fighter was Grigoris Afksentiou, who fought many brave battles, but eventually went in to hiding in the mountains near Machairas Monastery. On the 3rd March 1955, Field Marshal Harding discovered his whereabouts thanks to an informer and the area was surrounded. Grigoris Afksentiou refused to surrender, so Harding ordered the entire valley be set alight, burning Grigoris Afksentiou alive.
This was not warfare, this was a vendetta, conducted by Harding and it was murder!
Whilst Grigoris Afksentiou was also a faithful supporter of enosis, which I agree with, I do take the cultural in-doctrine of the era in to account, but that aside, one thing is for certain, the actions of Field Marshall Harding on that day were not those of a military man, this was the highest ranking officer in the British army, the army of an empire, suppressing ordinary people, fighting for their liberty, albeit that it was hijacked by enosis and for him to have ordered a man to be burned alive leaves him, his family and the British with a legacy of SHAME!
Enosis has and still is the nemesis of Cyprus, it is sadly ironic that this beautiful island has been torn apart and divided by a word that means ‘unity’
It is with this in mind that the need, indeed the obligation to cast off the demons of the past and save our island from continuing to be exploited by division, because whatever these people who gave their lives may have believed, they sacrificed their lives for Cyprus, right, wrong, misguided or even reckless, we are obliged to them and if we are complacent and allow Cyprus to disintegrate, that would be the greatest mark of disrespect not only for our island, but also to the many who have given their lives, decade after decade, century upon century, since time began.
I was born and raised in the UK, I do love the UK, but where this matter is concerned, I would like to see an official apology for the despicable way that Cyprus was treated by the British, the suffering they inflicted on the Cypriot people and the social divisions that they instigated that divide us to this day.
A CROWDFUNDING appeal to raise money to cover the legal fees of a 19- year-old British girl who claims she was forced by Cypriot police to withdraw a gang-rape complaint, has raised over £19,000 (€20,200), exceeding its £15,000 target, all within two days of being launched.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Help Teen Victim Get Justice in Cyprus crowdfunding appeal launched by the girl’s parents on GoFundMe raised over £19,223 from 378 people.
Among the donors, there was a significant number of Israeli citizens. Many of them said they believed the girl told the truth when she accused a group of 12 of their teenage compatriots of gang-raping her in a hotel room at the two-star Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel in Ayia Napa three weeks ago.
“To the British teen: I am Israeli and I am terrified by what my fellow citizens did to you and how you were treated consequently by Cypriot law enforcement. I want to say that I fully believe you and admire your courage not to remain silent. I really hope that eventually, you will get justice and your life will be recovered as quickly as possible,” wrote Michael Uritsky who donated £10.
“I believe you, and did from the beginning. Stand strong for justice on all counts. You are not alone. Many of us in Israel believe you and support you,” commented Shelley Bogen who also sent £10.
Earlier this week, the girl’s Cypriot lawyer, Andreas Pittadjis, resigned, citing serious disagreement with his client about how to handle the case.
The girl’s mother, currently in Cyprus, told the press that the family decided to accept legal assistance from the British legal group Justice Abroad, an organisation which, according to its website, “has been set up to help those trying to find their way through foreign justice systems with all the associated hurdles that present”. Together they plan to assemble an expert legal team from both the UK and Cyprus in order to challenge the many breaches of the teenager’s rights they claim took place since the case first started.
In the statement published on the crowdfunding page the family says: “In the early hours of Sunday the 28th of July 2019, following a week of traumatic events, our daughter was arrested for allegedly making a false allegation of rape in Cyprus and is currently being detained in prison awaiting trial. We maintain that the statement was given under duress and in breach of her rights, resulting in the collapse of the initial investigation and charges of public mischief being made against her. She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home.”
The 19-year-old was charged for making false claims after she withdrew her complaint that she had been gang-raped. She is due back in court on August 19.
This young lady deserves a fair trial it’s been sickening to see the ‘trial by proxy’ that has been happening within these posts.
CONSENT CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME!
For those of you still in the sexual dark ages, it does not make a difference, if you walk down the street in a thong and engage in sex with a dozen partners, CONSENT CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME! I sincerely hope that your daughters are never subjected to the Pig ignorance that I have seen here, if the they are ever unfortunate enough to suffer the same fate.
If the police had conducted themselves properly, they would have had a signed declaration from her refusing legal representation that would/should have been witnessed by an independent third party, they do not have that.
It is not just this young lady who is on trial, the boys who were released, guilty or not, have demonstrated that they have no respect for women by taking and releasing that video, an act that is a serious crime in the UK, therefore, for that alone, they are beyond contempt.
Then we have her so called solicitor who resigned, well, he has a chequered history to say the least. I can’t/won’t comment any further, but if you do some research, you can find out for yourself.
In the meantime, the accused were released and any possibility of a fair trial now gone, based on a gruelling EIGHT HOUR interview of a female tourist, without representation.
Whatever the facts are, the world’s media are making a meal out of this, quite rightly so, because this is not just about what did or did not happen, it is about the entire investigative process. This goes far and beyond Ayia Napa, or even Cyprus, it leaves a legacy of shame!
Andreas Pittadjis told the court on Wednesday that he was quitting due to serious disagreements with his client.
With the lawyer representing the woman at the centre of the rape case in Ayia Napa has resigned, but so far the only explanation has been that he had disagreements with his client.
The turn of events has left the woman at the mercy of public speculation, because the common consensus is that because she agreed consented to one or more who actually filmed her without permission, that she obviously did not object, but that is not necessarily the case.
We don’t know the facts, a video of the girl having sex with one or more of those boys does not make them innocent, consent can be withdrawn at any time. Therefore the video only confirms what the girl already admitted to, but what it also confirms is that those boys had zero respect for her, because they took it and shared it. As for her legal representation, we do not know the full story and basing opinion on the famous “somebody said” scenario is the worst thing to do.
We must not forget that consent may be withdrawn at ANY TIME!
One thing is for certain, there was no recording of her interview, not required by law in Cyprus, but definitely standard procedure in cases as serious as this. The girl was interviewed for hours without legal representation and signed a confession without legal representation, now this IS ILLEGAL! In Cyprus the accused must have legal representation and only if they flatly refuse and then, sign a statement declaring that they DO NOT want legal representation in front of a whiteness, can they proceed without. That did not happen in this case.
The Brit teen’s message breaks off mid-sentence minutes before her arrest!
Therefore, so far we have an illegal interview, an illegally gained confession, boys who had so little respect for the girl that they filmed her and then released the video which would be a serious offence in the UK, but at the very least, it displays what kind of people they must be.
Who were the officers who conducted this interview? Why have they not explained themselves? What will be done about their interview technique, which at best is gross negligence, but at worst, a blatant, premeditated and illegal abuse of procedure?