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Is the judiciary reported to be adequately and effectively combating racist violence/hate crime?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Crime Legislation & Implementation
11/01/2012 - 23:07
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

 A rather restrictive approach followed by the Courts in Cyprus renders the securing of convictions a rather difficult task. In the 2005 case of an ultra nationalist person attacking Turkish Cypriots in public, the Court acquitted the perpetrator for lack of evidence, as the victim himself was found by the Court to be a non-credible witness. In 2006 the Court convicted a Cypriot of African descent for assaulting a group of youth when he chased them away from his home, ignoring the fact that the youth had been harassing him with racial abuse for months before the man chased them away from his house. In 2008 the Supreme Court examined an application by Turkish Cypriot relatives of persons missing following an incident of ethnic violence at the village of Tochni in 1974. The applicants, who are relatives of five Turkish Cypriots missing as a result of an incident of a massacre which took place in August 1974 at the village of Tochni, when armed Greek Cypriots entered the village and abducted a large number of Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of the village, who were never seen since. The applicants sought a Court declaration stating that the state did not do everything necessary to investigate what happened to their missing relatives, to locate their remains and to bring the guilty persons to trial. The Supreme Court found that the review of governmental acts was not within the mandate given to the Supreme Court under article 146 of the Constitution (which deals with the review of administrative acts) and therefore it lacked jurisdiction to try the case (Ozalp Behic alias Ozalp Saricaoglu, Ece Behic alias Ece Kasif alias Firtinaer, Suzan Behic alias Suzan Saricaoglu v. The Republic of Cyprus through the Attorney General, the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Interior, Supreme Court of Cyprus, Case no. 589/2006 (29.05.2008))

ECRI (Fourth Report on Cyprus published in 2011) questions whether those involved in the criminal justice system have thorough knowledge of the provisions in force against racism and racial discrimination, as a result of the fact that criminal law provisions are rarely applied, and recommends training and awareness-raising for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges. It further notes that the Attorney General’s discretion to prosecute or not impedes the implementation of anti-racist legislation.


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