Government’s authoritarian behaviour promoting racism, but also damaging Cyprus’ image internationally
Statement by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A.Kyprianou on the Minister of Interior’s statements
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 27th May 2020, Nicosia
We regret to note that the Ministry of the Interior and the Minister himself, unfortunately, act in a way that, instead of solving, multiplies the problems that they are called upon to handle with dangerous ramifications for society.
When Mr. Nouris stated that the Police could enter into houses to check on whether the decrees that had been approved to deal with the pandemic were being observed, it was considered that he was surprised by the question put to him on this issue and gave that answer.
Unfortunately, in statements that were subsequently repeated, it appears that it is a question of approach, a question of perception. The government’s perception is “We decide and issue orders”.
The decision was taken to declare the Pournaras Reception Centre an “infectious area” and to keep it closed. However, the Ministry of Interior and the Minister himself never answered the obvious questions AKEL had asked:
– When did these cases arise?
– Have there been previous cases of scabies and if so, why was the Law on Infectious Diseases not activated then?
– Is the information that it is not 30 people but just 4 who have recovered valid?
– Was the Director of the Medical Services informed about the intention and in the end the decision to declare Pournaras an infectious area? And would they have permitted such living conditions for the refuges if Cypriot citizens were living there?
The Anastasiades-DISY government and, consequently, its Ministers give the impression that it has decided to distract the people from the pressure created by the scandals that affect it and by its mishandlings in various areas with the end of the pandemic, such as education, by exploiting the refugee and migrants issue in an extremist way.
We urge them to be extremely careful.
They are creating a dangerous precedent for Democracy, when they characterize any protest meeting as “anarchy”. At the same time, they must realize the enormous damage they are causing to society as a whole by authoritarian behaviours promoting racism, but also damaging Cyprus’ image internationally.
The Minister should be concerned about the image Cyprus is portraying abroad when he himself says that the Republic of Cyprus has been detaining 17 people in one place with many others for one year and claiming that they are involved with ISIS. The Minister must give an answer to us. If these people are indeed terrorists, why are they still in Cyprus? Why are they with hundreds of other people in the same centre? Is it true that the Supreme Court recently decided that one of them should be released, but also that he and others will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights?
The Minister of Interior Mr. Nouris, the Government and DISY must reflect on what message they are conveying abroad with such handlings and statements for our country with regards the respect of human rights. They must think about the impact that all this has on society, on the economy, but especially on tourism, at a time when there is a strong drive to reach out to tourists. If tourists know that there are 17 terrorists here in Cyprus, why should they choose us as their destination?
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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