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Nicosia, Cyprus – Sunday, 8 December 2013

We – the undersigned communities, organisations and groups – are peacefully marching today, Sunday, 8 December 2013, in protest against the unacceptable and arbitrary practice of racial profiling, police violence and abuse of power. We also declare our opposition and resistance to any form of discrimination and racism, demonstrate our solidarity to all victims of police violence, racist attacks and hate crime, and fight for the promotion of equality of all people, including migrants and refugees.

We are calling on the government of the Republic of Cyprus to adopt and implement immediately a zero tolerance policy against racial profiling, police violence, discrimination and racism, a policy necessitating a number of the measures below, as per the recommendations of CERD (Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) of the United Nations, at its 83rd session on 12-30 August 2013:

  1. Fill the gap in the penal, labour and administrative laws with regard to the prohibition and punishment of acts of discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life;
  2. Address the lack of coherence and the fragmentation of legislation relating to racial discrimination by consolidating the relevant laws into a comprehensive and internally consistent legal framework which would ensure clarity as to what is prohibited, and the penalties and reparations;
  3. Expand the scope of the reversal of burden of proof to all civil law cases of racial discrimination;
  4. Review laws, regulations and policies with a view to amending and nullifying those which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination;
  5. Ensure the prevention of racial discrimination in the administration and functioning of the criminal justice system, by taking into account that the low number of complaints is indicative of the fact that the legislation is insufficiently specific, while there is also a lack of awareness of available remedies, fear of social censure or reprisals and / or an unwillingness on the part of the authorities to initiate proceedings;
  6. Promptly investigate all allegations of racially motivated verbal abuse and physical attacks, to prosecute and, as appropriate, punish those found responsible, as well as provide reparation to victims;
  7. Take all necessary measures to prevent the occurrence of such acts in the future, including by declaring as illegal organizations which promote and incite racial discrimination;
  8. Condemn the use of racist discourse by politicians and in the media, as well as thoroughly investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute such acts;
  9. Consider all possible means for guaranteeing the right to self-identification and the free exercise of political rights without distinction;
  10. Respect the right to nationality without discrimination and ensure that no particular groups of non-citizens are discriminated against with regard to access to naturalization;
  11. Protect the rights of migrants and refugees by combating racial stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes, including through awareness-raising campaigns, and by enforcing legislation against racial discrimination in all fields of public life;
  12. Ensure effective protection against abuse, exploitation and unequal work rights, including by ensuring that the working conditions of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are monitored by the labour inspectorate.

Signatory communities, organisations, groups (in alphabetical order):

  • African Diaspora in Cyprus
  • African Students Association of the University of Nicosia
  • ARRCY  – Association of Recognized Refugees in Cyprus
  • Caritas Cyprus
  • CCMC – Cyprus Community Media Centre
  • Cyprus Stop Trafficking
  • Duties and Rights
  • ERAS – Committee for a Radical Left Coalition
  • Workers Democracy
  • Granazi
  • International Organization of Cameroonian Students in Cyprus
  • International Students Association of Cyprus
  • IKME – Institute of Sociopolitical Studies
  • KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism
  • NEDA – New Internationalist Left
  • Youth SYRIZA Cyprus
  • O.M. SYRIZA Cyprus
  • Sosialistiki Ekfrasi


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