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Cyprus Human Rights

Refugees' and migrants' rights

In November 2009, the (Amending) Law on Refugees transposed into domestic legislation the EU Asylum Procedures Directive. Under the new legislation and in combination with Article 146 of the Constitution, asylum applicants are entitled to submit an appeal against a negative decision at first instance to the Review Authority for Refugees or the Supreme Court. Asylum applicants can appeal against a negative decision issued by the Review Authority to the Supreme Court. Concerns were expressed that the amendments do not guarantee the right to an effective remedy before a court or tribunal as provided for in Article 39 of the Asylum Procedures Directive, since the Supreme Court's jurisdiction is limited to a review of the lawfulness and not the merits of a case. The new Law provides a free interpreter for asylum applicants when they appear before the Review Authority and before the Supreme Court under certain conditions. It also provides for the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child to represent unaccompanied minors during asylum proceedings.

In May the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed concern that rejected asylum-seekers and irregular migrants were held for long periods in detention and in inadequate conditions.

In September the police conducted a sweep of migrants living in the old part of Nicosia. Serious concerns were expressed by the Ombudsperson over the way the operation was conducted, such as house raids and the setting up of roadblocks in city streets.

In November the authorities rescued 110 Romanian workers brought to Cyprus by a trafficking ring. The 110 Romanians were living in squalid conditions in a shed in the Nicosia suburb of Tseri.

Violence Against Women and Girls

In May the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed continuing concerns at the extent of trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This was despite the abolition of the system of artists' visas in 2008, which had contributed to trafficking.

Police and security forces

In March the Nicosia Criminal Court acquitted 10 police officers on trial for offences including cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. They were accused of excessive use of force on two handcuffed students, Marcos Papageorghiou and Yiannos Nicolaou, in December 2005. The acquittal was controversial because of the existence of videotaped footage of the ill-treatment. In November the public prosecutor filed an appeal against the acquittal.

Cyprus Newsroom



February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

November 27, 2015 • Press Release

Cyprus: Marriage equality campaigners celebrate hard-won victory on civil unions

The Cypriot Parliament’s recognition of the right to same-sex civil unions is an important first step towards eradicating discrimination and achieving full marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Cyprus, Amnesty International said.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 17, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Cyprus 2013

Republic of Cyprus Head of state and government Demetris Christofias Irregular migrants were detained for prolonged periods with no alternative measures being considered. There were allegations of police ill-treatment of peaceful activists. Background Negotiations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders regarding the reunification of the island did not progress. Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants Irregular …

June 19, 2012 • Press Release

Cypriot Authorities Must End Unlawful Detention of Migrants

A new Amnesty International report documents how Cyprus locks away hundreds of irregular migrants each year, breaching international obligations.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Cyprus 2010

Head of state and government Demetris Christofias (replaced Tassos Papadopoulos in February) Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population .9 million Life expectancy 79.6 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 7/6 per 1,000 Adult literacy 97.7 per cent Despite new legislation, trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation continued. Ten police officers accused of beating …