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7 ngos logosImmediately after the sexist assault and sexual harassment against MP Irene Charalambidou by her fellow MP Andreas Kyprianou, a group of citizens launched a petition asking the Attorney General to lift the parliamentary immunity of the perpetrator in order to be accountable for his actions in court. As a group of NGOs that we have condemned the specific incident in a joint press release, dated 3/7/2015, we support this initiative and we call on the public to sign the petition.

By committing these violent and criminal acts, Mr Kyprianou has, among others, actually succeeded in the instinctive reaction by a large section of society, which believes that the lifting of the MP’s immunity and his conviction for the offences he has committed, will also act as condemnation of gender-based violence and sexism that are still, unfortunately, prevalent in the Cypriot society. At the same time, it will send a message that no one is above the law, the more so MPs who should, otherwise, be considered as models to respect and uphold the law.

The involvement of the police in the incident and the collection of relevant evidence confirm the severity of the incident and it is the first step for lifting the immunity of Mr Kyprianou. It appears that the police investigation will be concluded in the next few days, after which, the Attorney General will have to decide, based on the collected evidential material, whether he will proceed with the lifting of the immunity of the said MP so as to bring him before the court.

At the same time, the collection of more than 700 signatures in the framework of the aforementioned petition is an extra pressure on the Attorney General for lifting Mr Kyprianou’s immunity. The petition will be active until next Monday, 20/7/2015 and it is more than self-evident that the larger the number of signatures collected the easier it will be for Mr Clerides to proceed with the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the said MP.

The collected signatures will be handed over to the Attorney General at the end of next week by a group of citizens, including representatives of NGOs that participate in this initiative.

In light of the above,

We call on the public to join this petition of collecting electronic signatures in order to pressure the Attorney General to set in motion the required procedures for lifting the parliamentary immunity of Mr Kyprianou, so as to investigate the offences of sexual harassment at work and hate speech on the ground of gender. The state has the obligation to implement the laws it establishes, regardless of who breaks the law.

To sign the petition, please visit the web link: https://goo.gl/b1dmmM

NGOs

– KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism

– Cyprus Community Media Centre

– Accept LGBT Cyprus

– Cyprus Stop Trafficking

– Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre

– AHDR (Association of Historical Dialogue and Research)

– Freedom Dolls

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