Yesterday, 11th March 2015, a meeting between representatives of KISA and the Chief of Police, Mr. Zacharias Chrysostomou, took place on the Chief’s initiative, in the framework of cooperation for the creation of a European programme against hate speech.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that there was a need to make an effort to develop constructive relations between KISA and the police, on the basis of respect for the organisation’s mandate and action in society and the protection of human rights. The Chief of police stated that “the role of KISA, and other civil society organisations, to criticise where it is required is both understandable and welcome”, adding “that there is no such thing as bad-faith criticism since all criticism is necessary and useful”. Furthermore he specifically said that “both of us have a social mandate and that is why we are here, to serve the people and not to be served”.
KISA expressed its satisfaction with the meeting and the approach of the Chief of Police, and agreed that the improvement of the relations with the police would be mutually beneficial and to the benefit of society at large. KISA then proceeded to place on the table the need to discuss in depth the following issues:
- Improvement in the treatment of migrants by the police.
- Fight against criminal rings exploiting migrants and refugees.
- Treatment of detainees, including their access to the rights stemming from the Return Directive concerning irregular migrants as well as the unrestricted access of NGOs to the detainees.
- Improvement of the system of investigating of abuse of migrants so that such phenomena are effectively documented and the members of the police involved be subject to the consequences of their actions.
In addition to the exchange of opinions on the aforementioned issues, the meeting concluded with concrete measures:
- The Chief of Police expressed his readiness for direct communication with KISA, when this is called for immediate problem solving.
- It was also agreed to set up a committee to deal with these issues with the purpose of elaborating suggestions that will be submitted to the Chief of Police for information and taking measures for improvement of the situation.
- Finally, KISA responded positively to the Chief’s of Police suggestion for cooperation with the police academy, where KISA can inform the trainee policemen and policewomen not only about its role and action but also about the areas of its mission.
KISA Steering Committee
*It is pointed out that in regard with the meeting a press release was issued by the police too.