Torture in  [Cyprus]  [other countries]
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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                  

Republic of Cyprus

The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for 78% of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate are the most important sectors. Erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economy's reliance on tourism, which often fluctuates with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the economy in the area under government control has grown at a rate well above the EU average since 2000.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Cyprus

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Cyprus.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Anti-torture Committee publishes report on its visit to Cyprus

Council of Europe - European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CPT, 26 April 2018

[accessed 27 April 2018]

During its February 2017 visit to the country, the CPT received a number of credible allegations of physical and/or psychological ill-treatment of detained persons (including juveniles) by police officers – notably at Limassol and Paphos Central Police Stations. The alleged ill-treatment consisted primarily of slaps, punches and kicks to the head and to other parts of the body, but also included verbal abuse, threats and intimidation. There were also a number of allegations of physical, verbal and racist abuse of immigration detainees by staff at Menoyia Detention Centre, as well as several allegations of ill-treatment of detainees being escorted to the airport by immigration police officers. The CPT concludes that persons detained by the police – and in particular foreign nationals – still run a risk of being ill-treated, notably at the moment of apprehension, during questioning, and in the context of immigration detention and removal operations. The Cypriot authorities need to take determined action to tackle the problem of police ill-treatment, and promote a culture change within the ranks of the Cypriot Police. Further, steps should be taken to ensure that formal safeguards against ill-treatment are effectively implemented in practice.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 26 Feb 2014]

Irregular migrants were detained for prolonged periods with no alternative measures being considered. There were allegations of police ill-treatment of peaceful activists.

ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES - During the course of the year, the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus had exhumed the remains of 43 people, bringing the total number of exhumations since 2006 to 857. By the end of the year the remains of 336 missing individuals (269 Greek Cypriots and 67 Turkish Cypriots) had been identified and restored to their families. However, no perpetrator was identified or prosecuted in either Cyprus or Turkey by the end of the year.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/CR/29/1 (2002)

[accessed 26 February 2013]

C. Subjects of concern

5. Although there is a generally positive trend regarding the treatment of detained persons by police, the existence of some cases of ill-treatment require that the authorities remain vigilant.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 22 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports that police abused detainees.

There continued to be reports that police engaged in heavy‑handed tactics and degrading treatment of suspects.

In January the court acquitted a police officer charged with raping a Moldavian woman in her prison cell in February 2004. In July a police disciplinary committee called for the officer's resignation, but the officer appealed the decision. The committee ordered a new investigation, which concluded that the officer should be demoted rather than relieved of duty. The assistant chief of police appealed this decision, and the officer remained on suspension at year's end.

In April a naturalized citizen reported that police beat and locked him in a cell for 15 hours following a car accident in Limassol. The Limassol police chief denied the claims, and police headquarters maintained that the claimant had attacked the policemen and had hit an officer who had intervened in the altercation. The police pressed charges against him, while the alleged victim filed a complaint with the ombudsman. The Ombudsman's Office issued a report on the incident and the deputy chief of police ordered an investigation in August. The investigation was on going at year's end.

In July an Afghani man claimed that in 2004 police detained him and a Polish female friend and strip-searched them. After the interrogation, the man alleged the officers forcefully took him to his apartment and forced them to pose with two women in sexually suggestive photographs, which were later carried in a major newspaper. The police reported that the officers were off‑duty at the time of the incident and that a disciplinary committee investigation was completed in August. At year's end the committee had not decided on disciplinary action against the officers, who remained suspended from duty.

In July the Criminal Court found a Nicosia police officer guilty of common assault after beating a teenage suspect in custody in 2004 while off duty. He was fined $300 (150 CYP).

In August the ombudsman sent a report to the attorney general and the minister of justice supporting allegations made by a detainee that Limassol police mistreated him during his 2002 detention. The initial police investigation concluded that the complainant's claims were unfounded. However, the ombudsman's report confirmed that the complainant suffered serious bodily injuries at the hands of the police and recommended a second police investigation into the case. The police ordered a second investigation in July that was still ongoing at year's end.

In September the press reported that a Polish laborer died after being held in police custody. These reports alleged that the man was taken to a police station after a confrontation with his neighbors, where he experienced convulsions and fainting spells. The police confirmed that an ambulance took the man unconscious to the hospital where he later died. The ombudsman was investigating the case, and police have stated that the government doctor who conducted the post-mortem examination concluded that the cause of death was likely a pre‑existing condition. At year's end the case was still under investigation pending toxicological and other medical results. According to the police, the man's roommates reported that the man regularly suffered from seizures, but they were unaware whether he suffered from a particular illness.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 22 January 2013]

The independent judiciary operates according to the British tradition, upholding due process rights. In 2008 the Cyprus ombudswoman issued complaints on behalf of asylum-seekers who were indefinitely detained in Nicosia’s prison; they launched a hunger strike in September. Prison overcrowding has decreased but remains a problem. The Council of Europe and other groups have noted police and prison brutality, including targeted beatings of minorities. A bureau established in 2006 to investigate complaints against the police reported 30 complaints in the first five months of 2008, although most were found to be groundless. The 10 plainclothes police who were videotaped beating two men in 2005 were acquitted of torture and causing grievous bodily harm in September 2008 but still face other charges in an ongoing trial.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Cyprus",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Cyprus]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Cyprus]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Cyprus]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Cyprus]  [other countries]