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Through past press releases, KISA has reported the practices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department (C.R.M.D.), the director of which is ordering the arrest and detention of women with young children and/or infants. [1] These arrests are conducted with the cooperation of the Alien and Immigration Service (A.I.S.), in spite of recommendations against this by officials of the Social Welfare Service (S.W.S.). These practices suggest there is a targeting of women with young children, who are in a particularly vulnerable position due to the fact that the children are still dependent on them.

Since yesterday, yet another woman – who has been living in Cyprus with her 18month old child that is a European citizen – is being detained. RB is married to a European national, with whom she has had her child. Recently, the couple has been in separation. Yesterday, RB enquired at the C.R.M.D. about submitting an application for citizenship and requesting an update regarding her application for a residence permit as a member of a European citizen’s family, the examination of which has been pending since 2011. There, she was arrested by the A.I.S., whose members requested she lead them to her child that was in her friend’s care as. RB was visiting the C.R.M.D. Subsequently, RB and the child were led to the A.I.S. of the Nicosia district, which proceeded to detain RB in spite of the objection by the S.W.S. At present, RB is being detained with issued orders for detention and deportation, while she has not yet received any response regarding the residence permit application she submitted in 2011 as a family member of a European citizen. Since yesterday, she has not seen her child that is still at the stage of breastfeeding.

Two weeks ago, another woman, mother of a young child, was arrested. LYB was arrested inside the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers in Kofinou, where she stayed, as an asylum seeker, with her underage daughter, in whose presence she was arrested. The child was transported with her to a police station, where an official from S.W.S. picked her up and placed her in foster care. LYB is also being held with orders to detain and deport her, while the Supreme Court is still examining her appeal against the decision of the Refugee Reviewing Authority to reject her application for asylum. It is worth mentioning that the Republic of Cyprus has already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in the case M.A. vs. Cyprus for the absence of an effective remedy against illegal detentions, as well as illegal and long-term detentions, which do not fulfil the least legal requirement at all.

Meanwhile, and in spite of the instructions from the Attorney General detailing her release, DM – member of a European citizen’s family and mother of a child under three years of age – is also  still in custody, whose case KISA publicized on 12/02/2014. DM reported she was illegally arrested in front of her underage child in January 2013, as well as abuse from a police officer of the department of Nicosia, which caused her miscarriage. [2] Although both the Ombudswoman and the Chairman of the Independent Authority for Investigation of Complaints and Claims against the Police requested her release, DM is still in custody. [3]

Similarly, KISA notes the Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s rights called a meeting last week involving the competent authorities to set out a framework for handling cases like the ones mentioned above. The Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s rights was forced to cancel the meeting after the Director of the C.R.M.D. refused to participate.

KISA urges the independent authorities (the Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s rights,  the Ombudswoman, the Independent Authority for Investigation of Complaints and Claim against the Police, the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus) to intervene and ensure that public administration complies to current legislation and the principle of good governance, in order to implement their recommendations.

Furthermore, KISA urges the President of the Republic of Cyprus to ensure that the government, in its entirety, behaves and functions based on the respect of human rights of all human beings. Additionally, the President of the Republic of Cyprus himself shall have to see to the implementation of the law in the areas of migration and asylum.

Finally, KISA urge the European Commission to intervene to end the breach of the European acquit by the Republic of Cyprus in the areas of migration and asylum.

Notes to editors:


[1] KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism. Press release – Wednesday, 5 February 2014. The good, the bad, and the ugly: The arrest of Syrian refugees, the direction of a “coordinated operation” by the police and the racist propaganda fed by the far-right. Access via website: https://kisa.org.cy/05-02-2014-%ce%bf%ce%b9-%ce%ba%ce%b1%ce%bb%ce%bf%ce%af-%ce%bf%ce%b9-%ce%ba%ce%b1%ce%ba%ce%bf%ce%af-%ce%ba%ce%b1%ce%b9-%ce%bf%ce%b9-%ce%ac%cf%83%cf%87%ce%b7%ce%bc%ce%bf%ce%b9-%ce%b7-%cf%83%cf%8d/.

KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism. Press release– Wednesday, 12 February 2014. KISA reports inhumane treatment of the family of a European citizen and abuse of power by the Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Access via website: https://kisa.org.cy/12-02-2014-%ce%b7-%ce%ba%ce%b9%cf%83%ce%b1-%ce%ba%ce%b1%cf%84%ce%b1%ce%b3%ce%b3%ce%ad%ce%bb%ce%bb%ce%b5%ce%b9-%ce%b1%cf%80%ce%ac%ce%bd%ce%b8%cf%81%cf%89%cf%80%ce%b7-%ce%bc%ce%b5%cf%84%ce%b1%cf%87/

KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism. Press release – Friday, 21 February 2014. New incident involving abuse of power and violation of the rights of the family of a European citizen by the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Access via website: https://kisa.org.cy/21-02-2014-%ce%bd%ce%ad%ce%bf-%ce%ba%cf%81%ce%bf%cf%8d%cf%83%ce%bc%ce%b1-%ce%ba%ce%b1%cf%84%ce%ac%cf%87%cf%81%ce%b7%cf%83%ce%b7%cf%82-%ce%b5%ce%be%ce%bf%cf%85%cf%83%ce%af%ce%b1%cf%82-%ce%ba%ce%b1/

[2] KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism. Press release– Wednesday, 12 February 2014. KISA reports inhumane treatment of the family of a European citizen and abuse of power by the Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Access via website: https://kisa.org.cy/12-02-2014-%ce%b7-%ce%ba%ce%b9%cf%83%ce%b1-%ce%ba%ce%b1%cf%84%ce%b1%ce%b3%ce%b3%ce%ad%ce%bb%ce%bb%ce%b5%ce%b9-%ce%b1%cf%80%ce%ac%ce%bd%ce%b8%cf%81%cf%89%cf%80%ce%b7-%ce%bc%ce%b5%cf%84%ce%b1%cf%87/

[3] Cyprus Mail, “Witnesses in police brutality case are facing deportation”, Friday, 14 February 2014, page 7.

 

 

 

 

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