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KISA ascertains the Acting Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) still insists on following the illegal policy of detention of persons in the Detention Center of Undocumented Migrants of Menoyia, among who are asylum seekers, EU citizens, and people who are members of Cypriot or Europeans families. Unfortunately, we observe with regret that it tends to become an institution the fact that justice is only given to those detainees who have acquaintances that work as leverage for their release, or to those who promote their case in the Media. It is reminded that a Palestinian from Gaza (G.S), who was illegally detained in Menoyia, was released a few days after reporting his case in a press release of KISA and after airing his story in the central newscast of Sigma TV station.

A typical example of the uncompromising and arbitrary policy of CRMD is the case of a person (S.R.) who is still being held in Menoyia despite the fact that his application for asylum is under consideration and even if there are important reasons to grant him an international protection status. Mr. S.R. is in Cyprus for more than 10 years with a visitor’s residence permit which was being renewed because of his remunerated cooperation with the Cyprus Intelligence Service (CIS).

When Mr. S.R. decided to interrupt his cooperation with the CIS, the competent services of the state ceased to renew his residence permit, thus he was arrested by the police (9/15) and has since been detained in Menoyia as a prohibited migrant. After transferring him to Menoyia, Mr. S.R. applied for asylum because in case of his return to his home country, he is threatened with prosecution, since the Secret Services of the country where his is in danger to be expelled to are aware of his collaboration with the CIS. Despite the merits of his claims and while his application for asylum is pending before the Refugee Reviewing Authority, the Acting Director of CRMD, acting improperly, still insists on keeping the asylum seeker  in detention.

Another asylum seeker, who is illegally detained in Menoyia, is Mr. A.W., a Palestinian from Gaza, whose case has been reported in a recent press release. Mr. A.W., after ten years from the filing of the application for international protection, agreed to withdraw his application for asylum after the competent authorities first agreed to help him move to another country. However, when this was not feasible, the authorities instead of reopening his file for asylum, they sent him to Menoyia despite the fact that there is no any possibility to deport him back to Gaza.

Furthermore, according to our information, Mr. Polydorou as Head of the Asylum Service, proceeded to re-opening the file of Mr. A.W. for asylum, at the request of Mr. A.W. that was sent to the Asylum Service via a letter of KISA. The paradox of this case is that this time Mr. Polydorou, as Acting Director of CRMD did not proceed to release A.W. since, as from now, he is officially an asylum seeker and his detention is not justified in any way. It is also noted that, as we have been informed today, yesterday evening  (04.05.15) Mr. A.W. tried to commit suicide under the burden of his unjust and prolonged detention, which seems to have led to a further deterioration of the serious health problems that he is facing.

In light of the above, KISA asks for:

  • The immediate release of the above mentioned people and of all asylum seekers illegally detained in the detention center for undocumented migrants in Menoyia.
  • The setting up of a committee composed by representatives of relevant departments, independent authorities and civil society organizations in order to act as an advisory body of the Acting Director of CRMD in the foreseen by law assessment (following the passing of the first two months) of the continuation of the detention of the undocumented migrants.
  • The Minister of Interior to respond to our repeated requests for convening a meeting for a discussion on the policy of issuing detention and deportation orders so that the policy to be followed will limit the irrational issue of detention and deportation orders. It is noted that the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, following a delegation’s recent visit to Cyprus, released a press release in which states, among other, that “it is important to ensure that the detention of migrants is limited only when this is strictly necessary.”

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