The man, who is a member of the family of EU citizens, is detained after 11 years of residence in Cyprus; the woman, an EU citizen, under the supervision of the psychiatric services, and the new-born child is at a foster family
KISA – Equality, Support, Antiracism publicly denounces another case of serious violations of the rights of a migrant family, in the context of irregular detention and deportation policies that the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) establishes, in line with the corruption that seems to exist between particular ”intermediaries” and the relevant authorities. Alongside, KISA denounces the Social Welfare Services (SWS), which informed the relevant authorities that the detained father is the only able parent to take care of the underage child of the family, yet they did not act as they ought to in order to take the necessary measures to prevent the removal of the father from the family and preserve its unity. Further, KISA denounces the Immigration Office of the Police (IOP) for its harsh treatment towards the father of the family, which in essence involved his blackmail in order to “consent” to the “voluntary return” of the family to the country of origin of his wife.
S.A. is a migrant from a third country, who lives in Cyprus since 2003. In 2010, S.A got married to S.B, who is a European citizen. During the period between 2011 and 2014, S.A. paid numerous “intermediaries,” who kept promising to mediate between him and the CRMD in order to take the residence permit he is entitled to, based on legislation, since he is the husband of a European citizen. It is worth mentioning that KISA holds the personal details of the intermediaries, some of whom we have repeatedly denounced to the relevant authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.
The child of the family was born about six months ago. Taking advantage of the undocumented status of his residence in Cyprus, which, as mentioned above, was the result of the exploitation from the “intermediaries” and the omissions by the relevant authorities, 20 days after the birth of his child, S.A was arrested. Initially, he was detained at a police station and then he was transferred at the Detention Centre in Mennogeia. The following day, S.B visited the District Office of the SWS to ask for help, since she did not have either the financial resources or the ability to take care of herself and their child on her own. The SWS officers judged that the father is the only parent, who is able to have the custody of the child. Despite this, the SWS did not intervene dynamically in order for the father to be released, yet they gave the child to a foster family. As a result, the child has no communication with his father since the day she was born. Additionally, the SWS contributed in for the hospitalisation of the mother at a Psychiatric Clinic.
KISA publicly denounces the on-going policy of detaining and deporting family members, and especially the spouses of European citizens. In view of the above serious incidence, KISA requests from:
- The CRMD – To release immediately S.A and grant him immediately a residence permit as a spouse of a European citizen, so as for him to be able to respond to his responsibilities concerning his child and to gain full access to his rights as a member of the family of EU citizens.
- The SWS, as well as the Medical and Public Health Services – To provide appropriate support towards the family.
- The Independent Authorities, namely the Commissioner for Children’s Rights and the Ombudswoman – To examine any failures of the competent authorities in fulfilling their duties and any violations of the legislation they might have committed.
Finally, KISA highlights that this particular case raises, once more, the urgent need to revise the existing policies regarding the residence, the detention and deportation of families and persons with a long-term residence in Cyprus.
Steering Committee of KISA