HomeNewsPolice arrest 20 in Cyprus as anti-migrant violence spreads | The Global...

Police arrest 20 in Cyprus as anti-migrant violence spreads | The Global Today

Cyprus police have arrested 20 folks after a march towards migrants and refugees on the island’s second-largest metropolis, Limassol, turned violent with mobs vandalising property.

5 folks had been injured in the course of the unrest on Friday night after about 500 folks took to the streets for the march, the police mentioned.

Garbage bins had been set alight and a few retailers had been vandalised, police mentioned. Witnesses quoted by Cypriot media retailers mentioned some foreigners had been attacked in the course of the march.

Asian supply drivers had been assaulted and storefronts belonging to migrants had been smashed because the violence continued till the early hours of Sunday, in accordance with Reuters information company.

Police used water cannon to disperse the protesters, a few of them hooded and holding a banner that learn “Refugees not welcome”.

In a single day Saturday to Sunday, three folks from southeast Asia had been attacked and robbed, state media mentioned.

Among the many victims had been a bunch of holiday makers from Kuwait, in accordance with social media accounts of witnesses.

Senior diplomat Kyriakos Kouros mentioned a protest was filed by an envoy of an unnamed Arab state on Saturday after vacationers had been focused.

“They minimize quick their go to. I doubt they may ever return,” Kouros, everlasting secretary on the Ministry of International Affairs, wrote on the social media platform X on Sunday, posting an image of the departure of a bunch at an airport. One member of the group was in a wheelchair.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt so embarrassed about such an incident in our nation,” he wrote. “This isn’t the Cyprus I used to be born, raised, had a household and am getting outdated in,” he mentioned.

Rise in violence

The incident got here days after about 20 folks had been arrested throughout violent clashes between Cypriots and migrants and refugees close to the western resort of Paphos, the place authorities have began eradicating Syrians from a condemned condo advanced.

Asylum seekers stroll amid waste on the Ayios Nikolaos condo advanced, in Chloraka, a village of seven,000 folks positioned on the outskirts of Paphos, Cyprus [Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP]

Video footage on social media confirmed a bunch of Greek Cypriots chanting “Get out, get out” in the course of the demonstration. It turned violent, police mentioned, when the Greek Cypriots got here face-to-face with a bunch of Syrians.

The violence continued after about 500 Syrians held a peaceable counterprotest, in accordance with police, who mentioned they used tear gasoline and water cannon to disperse either side.

European Union member Cyprus says it’s a “front-line nation” on the Mediterranean migrant route, struggling to deal with an inflow of undocumented migrants and refugees.

The newest EU knowledge reveals Cyprus has the best variety of first-time asylum purposes relative to inhabitants within the 27-member bloc.

Authorities mentioned final week that migrants and refugees comprise an estimated 6 % of the island’s inhabitants. The EU’s common is roughly 1 %.

Refugee camps in Cyprus are overcrowded. In lots of locations, ghettos have fashioned the place folks stay in poverty.

Asylum seekers sit on the Ayios Nikolaos condo advanced in Chloraka, Cyprus [Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP]

‘Embarrassing’ photos: Cypriot PM

On Saturday, Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides held an emergency assembly to debate the Limassol unrest with the police chief and his justice and inside ministers.

It’s the second emergency assembly in every week after Tuesday’s session following the Paphos violence.

“There may be not a lot that may be mentioned apart from the embarrassing photos we have now seen,” a visibly indignant Christodoulides informed reporters. “They don’t have anything to do with coping with immigration.

“If all these concerned [in the Limassol incidents] beloved or cared about our nation, they might not have taken such actions which, above all, insult our nation.”

Within the final 16 years, 413 racist assaults and incidents have been taken to court docket within the Greek Cypriot administration, and 125 circumstances associated to those issues are nonetheless pending within the courts, in accordance with Cypriot newspaper Politis.

Fewer asylum purposes

The variety of migrants and refugees making use of for asylum in Cyprus dropped by 53 % over a current five-month interval, in accordance with Ministry of Inside knowledge.

A group from Cyprus’s Joint Rescue Coordination Middle helps migrants and refugees debark from a ship within the sea close to the jap coastal resort of Protaras [Joint Rescue Coordination Center via AP]

Greater than 10,600 folks utilized for asylum from March to July 2022, in contrast with 4,976 in the identical interval this yr, the figures confirmed.

However police knowledge reveals an increase within the variety of migrants and refugees arriving by sea, with greater than 500 touchdown on 45 small fishing boats or inflatable dinghies previously three months, the overwhelming majority from Syria.

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