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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Immigrant support group condemns treatment of asylum seekers ]

Immigrant support group condemns treatment of asylum seekers

AROUND 50 illegal immigrants were arrested in Dhekelia on Sunday by local police forces in co-operation with the British Bases police.

The immigrants told authorities they had arrived in the north by boat from Syria and crossed south. Police reports say they were received by foreign facilitators, one of whom was believed to be Turkish and transported to the Dhekelia checkpoint. The facilitators are considered to be among those arrested.

It is believed that the illegal immigrants paid US$2,000-2,500 dollars each for their transportation to Cyprus.

According to police reports, 44 illegal immigrants were arrested on Sunday, while another four were arrested yesterday, taking the total up to 48 – all said to be coming from Syria. The majority (42 males) were arrested by Bases police, where they were detained before being handed over to the Cyprus police.

Meanwhile, immigrant support group KISA yesterday condemned the actions of authorities, which they claim violate Refugee Laws and Human Rights. The group claims the arrested immigrants were trying to escape Syria’s dictatorial regime and seek political asylum in Cyprus.

According to information from KISA, 75 immigrants from Syria, including 30 Kurds, were arrested by the SBA police while attempting to enter Cyprus soil. KISA also claims that the immigrants are being detained in the British Bases and are only handed to local police in groups in order to deport them.

KISA condemned these actions, adding “they do not conform to any international protection procedures even regarding people who have requested asylum”.

It went on to say that the “so-called illegal immigration problem” is not solved with illegal actions which violate basic human rights and endanger the lives of people escaping from oppressive regimes like that of Syria.

Justice Minister, Kypros Chrysostomides, said yesterday that “the trafficking of illegal immigrants is a serious problem especially for a country as small as Cyprus”.

He also said that the problem is intensified by the regime in the north and “the existence of a divisive line from where illegal immigrants are transported”.

“Support from the EU is therefore necessary,” he said, because the problem is continuously getting worse.


(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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