Category Archives: Human Rights

CASE CLOSED. Charges dropped against Doros Polykarpou and KISA

Doros Polykarpou

“The significance of the verdict stretches beyond the acquittal of Doros Polykarpou. This is a victory for all human rights defenders in Cyprus, and sends out a clear message that KISA and other NGOs have a legitimate right to defend the rights of migrants and asylum seekers” – Anthoula Papadopoulou, KISA

“The protection of human rights is neither a discretionary matter, nor a matter of luxury, but is a necessary element of the rule of law” – Costas Gkazis, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Yesterday’s press conference at the EU House in Nicosia was as much a triumphant announcement that charges had been dropped against KISA‘s Executive Director Doros Polykarpou, as it was a relief that a process which started 18 months ago had reached a favourable conclusion. “If only we could reclaim the 6000 Euro in court expenses!”, joked Polykarpou.

Costas Gkazis speaking at yesterday’s press conference

The verdict issued by the Larnaca District Court pointed out that the prosecution had failed to prove that any criminal offense had been committed by Polykarpou in relation to the violent events which marred the celebration of diversity and multiculturalism at the Rainbow Festival in Larnaca back in November 2010. In its decision, the Court did not accept the testimony of the police officers – who were witnesses of the prosecution – pointing to inconsistencies and unreliability. Moreover, the Court found Doros Polykarpou’s testimony to be both reliable and consistent with the video recordings shown as evidence in Court.

This verdict definitely does not draw a line in the sand, but marks a new chapter in the defence of human rights in Cyprus, and of standing to racist and xenophobic behaviour. CCMC witnessed first hand the terrible events of 5 November 2010, with a number of staff suffering verbal and physical abuse at the hands of groups whose ideology has no place in modern society. The Centre will continue to steadfastly support the work of KISA and its associates in pursuit of a more just and fair treatment of vulnerable groups in our society.

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Photos from Rainbow Human Library 18 May 2012

Thank you to everybody involved in the Rainbow Human Library event on Friday 18 May 2012, organised with the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, CCMC, the NGO Support Centre, accept-LGBT Cyprus and the Pool of Trainers of the Cyprus Youth Council. It was a real privilege for us to be involved, and a fantastic, respectful, sharing atmosphere. Here are some photos from the event, which was held to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia:

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CCMC marks World Press Freedom Day on 3 May

Today, 3 May 2012, the Cyprus Community Media Centre commemorates World Press Freedom Day. We hope you will help share information about the day through social media, which has played such a huge role in generating growth in freedom of expression, namely in unleashing the protest movement that began in Tunisia in 2010 before spreading through much of the Arab world and beyond. Take a moment to reflect on the ways in which we enjoy freedom of expression in our lives and the ways we share information, and download your e-cards in EnglishGreekand Turkish. Make them your profile pic on Facebook, and please share widely!

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Have you written something on Cyprus in 2011?

Calling all researchers!

The forthcoming issue of The Cyprus Review journal (Vol. 24: No. 1) will include a bibliography section on all publications relating to Cyprus that came out in 2011. This would include new book titles, chapters in books, articles and PhDs. Conference proceedings, reports, documents, online and working papers can also be included.

The Cyprus Review team are finalising their list and you can help by bringing to their attention any publications you know of published last calendar year.

You can get hold of the current bibliography from Olga Demetriou at bookreviews.tcr@unic.ac.cy, or you can forward any material to Olga before the end of business tomorrow, Thursday 3rd May 2012.

Police brutality against detainees, reports KISA

kisalogo0611After following up on a series of complaints, CCMC member KISA has encountered an outbreak of police brutality against detainees in almost all cities of Cyprus. In particular, the complaints that have reached KISA refer to police violence against detainees occurring in the detention centres of Larnaca, Nicosia, and Paphos. Through its communication with the families and the detainees who had been victims of this brutal police violence, KISA says it appears that the incidents of attacks tended to be in retaliation to the detainees’ protests against the living conditions in detention, and the state’s attempts to deport them. Continue reading

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CCMC member TCHRF Refugee Photography exhibition

CCMC member the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (TCHRF) is hosting a week long photographic exhibition with a number of participating local photographers, running from 20-27 June 2011. More details in Turkish, in the flyer here.

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KISA Film Screening to mark World Refugee Day

welcomeOn the event of World Refugee Day on 20 June, CCMC member KISA are inviting you to an event paying tribute to the day and what it symbolises. Philippe Lioret’s movie ‘Welcome’ (2009) will be screened at the event. The film tells the story of a Kurdish-Iraqi refugee and recounts the effort made ​​and difficulties encountered in trying to go from France to England in order to be reunited with his beloved one.

An open discussion will follow regarding issues affecting refugees, including among others, the current situation and future prospect for action and improvement, especially the possibility to initiate an independent all inclusive self organisation for persons with international protection status. The event will take place at 19:00 at the KISA Cultural Center at the following address:  http://www.kisa.org.cy/EN/contacts/location/index.html (48, Arsinoes Str., 1010 Nicosia). Food and drinks will be available to purchase at low prices.

Future Worlds Center: Press Release on occasion of World Refugee Day

On Monday 20 June 2011 we celebrate World Refugee Day. For millions of refugees around the world, the day is another spent in urgent need of basic material, social and legal protection. For the rest of us, the day represents a call to action, an opportunity to focus our efforts on improving the lives of forcibly displaced persons, both here in Cyprus and across the globe. Continue reading

AKOVA Festival to raise awareness of Domestic Violence

domviolenceAkova Women’s Association & KTAMS cordially invite you to the Akova Festival on Saturday 28 May, an activity-rich event organised as part of the “Strong Women for Strong Civil Society” project in order to raise awareness and combat Domestic Violence. The festival starts at 12:00 at the wedding hall in AKOVA village, and there will be activities until midnight! Continue reading

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REPORT: Health for undocumented migrants

CCMC member KISA are launching an important report on the access to health and living conditions of undocument​ed migrants and asylum seekers. There will be a launch event in cooperation with the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus on Friday the 15th of April, at the House of Europe, 30 Vyronos Ave, Nicosia,  at 17:30 pm. Please see attached invitations in English and Greek. Download the report in English here and in Greek here.

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