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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Questions over police motives in deportation sting ]

Questions over police motives in deportation sting

MYSTERY surrounds the arrest and subsequent release within 48 hours of a Lebanese man about to marry the daughter of a wealthy businessman last weekend.

Police arrested the man last Saturday with the intention of deporting him three days before his wedding. The next day, the man was released following the intervention of Interior Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis.

“I want to uphold the rule of law in this country, where the human rights of everyone are respected, even those who need to be deported,” the minister told the Cyprus Mail.

The man came to Cyprus seeking asylum after the crisis in Lebanon in 2006. During his application process, he met and fell in love with the daughter of a prominent businessman on the island.

The Cyprus Mail understands her family was dead against the relationship and the planned wedding, scheduled for yesterday. The bride-to-be would not be swayed by her family’s reservations and moved out of the family home so she could live with her fiancé.

However, three days before the wedding, police arrested the Lebanese man in a sting operation and placed him in Block 10 until they could arrange for his deportation. By Sunday, the circumstances of his detention were made known to Sylikiotis who ordered his immediate release.

According to migrant support group, KISA, many question marks are raised over who ordered his arrest and why.

The Lebanese man had appealed to the independent Reviewing Authority following the rejection of his asylum application. On June 6, 2008, the Authority rejected his appeal.

The very next day, police mobilised to arrest the man in the early hours of the morning during a visit to a large commercial centre in Nicosia.

“He should have been sent a letter informing him of the rejection and that he had 15 days to leave the country. The procedure should not have been like that,” said Sylikiotis.

Neither the groom-to-be nor the Asylum Service received the rejection letter by Saturday 6am when the arrest took place.

According to the Refugee Law of 2000, the Reviewing Authority has to inform the applicant of its decision in writing, as well as the Asylum Service and the Interior Ministry’s Migration Department.

“How did they arrest him? Who told police that he’s illegal so soon? The Reviewing Authority is an independent body. The police could not know. The law does not allow this level of co-operation,” said KISA representative Doros Polycarpou.

An official from the Reviewing Authority who wished to remain anonymous argued that the Authority was obliged by law to inform the Migration Department and the police of all decisions. However, no reference to police was found in the relevant provision in the Refugee Law.

Asked how the postal service proved so efficient last Friday, the official said sometimes decisions are sent by fax.

The Interior Minister is currently examining the file of the Lebanese man to decide the appropriate procedure that needs to be followed.

The Deputy Police Chief was unavailable for comment yesterday.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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