KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Anti-racism denounces the new attempt by a member of the police force to criminalise its actions and the actions of its members. We wish to re-iterate that the abuse of power, police violence or any other retributive or provocative action will not succeed in disorientating us from our commitment to defend human rights in society.
Around 10:30 in the morning someone was shouting loudly outside KISA’s offices so the Executive Director of KISA, along with other neighbours, went to see what was happening. They realised that the shouting was coming from a known police officer from the Special Traffic Squad «Ζ», who subsequently communicated through the police radio while simultaneously talking with a young motorcycle driver who was parked at the edge of the pavement.
When KISA’s Executive Director approached to ask the young man what had happened, and whether he needed any assistance, the officer rudely told him to leave immediately. When he refused, saying that it is a public space and has every right to remain and observe what is happening, the officer told him that he was under arrest for obstructing a police officer. Subsequently, the officer called his colleagues who arrived at the scene and proceeded with the arrest transferring him in handcuffs to Lykavitos police station.
The officer threatened to arrest all the other people present from KISA, especially in case they intended to publish photographs or other material from the scene. This was despite the fact that Doros Polykarpou reassured the officer that there was no intention to complicate or obstruct the work of the police while pointing out however that this must take place within a framework of respect towards the rights of the persons who are under police investigation.
It is not known whether the officer in question engages in a similar treatment towards Cypriots, however KISA has received a number of complaints from migrants over the violent, disrespectful and generally unacceptable behaviour of the officer in question towards them. Just recently, during the Pride Parade on the 1st of June 2019, KISA’s team that was taking part in the Parade, including Doros Polykarpou, as well as other individuals, were witnesses to the officer’s behaviour against a migrant at Solomos Square. In regard to this incident, the officer has been reported by KISA to the Independent Authority for the Investigation of Allegations and Complaints against the Police (IAIACAP) to which KISA’s executive Director is one of the witnesses.
KISA believes that this case, which is the sixth in a row, is part of the criminalisation efforts, blackmailing attempts and vindictiveness against it for its work in supporting migrants and safeguard human rights. We are thus certain that, as in the previous five criminal prosecutions, all of which were quashed by the court, justice shall once again determine the futility and absurdity of this attempt.
KISA will proceed to file another report to IAIACAP against the officer in question, however it calls upon the Chief of Police and the Minister of Justice and Public Order to promptly investigate the manner in which this officer carries out his duties and powers. The officer’s credentials have been passed on by phone to the Chief of Police as well as to the Director of Police in Nicosia, in order to re-evaluate whether this person is indeed capable and fit for carrying out his duties and powers without bias, bearing in mind all complaints against him, from KISA as well as potentially from other citizens and migrants. KISA further calls upon the relevant authorities to show due rigour not only in the case of the specific officer but of any other member of the police force who exercises their powers arbitrarily and abusively at the expense of the citizens.