By Constantinos Psillides
A MEMBER of the Police Rapid Response Unit (MMAD) has been accused of attacking a Pakistani national, and immigrant support group KISA also claim the police tried to cover-up the case by refusing to file a complaint against the officer.
According to KISA, on Saturday March 8 at around 10am a Pakistani man (identified as TR) was walking to work in Nicosia when he was stopped by four members of MMAD riding a patrol car.
One of the officers asked where he was from and when he responded, KISA said, he pushed him to the wall, hit him with both hands and demanded his identification papers. TR said he had left them at home.
The officer then ordered him to sit on the pavement and write his name and date of birth. The Pakistani complied and informed them that he was living in Cyprus for 14 years, he is married to a Cypriot and has a child with her.
The officer then ordered him to write the name of his wife to verify his claims.
According to KISA, the other three officers moved aside and called to check whether the Pakistani was telling the truth. Upon realising TR was not lying, the accused officer told him to “keep your papers on you at all times”.
The Pakistani demanded to know why the officer hit him, inquiring whether it was because of his race, his nationality or because he was simply walking to work.
KISA said the officer then told the Pakistani “if you don’t like it you can go wherever you want. But I will find you, I will plant drugs on you and you will go to jail for the rest of your life”.
At that point, one of the other officers reportedly suggested it was time to leave and the four of them got in the patrol car and fled the scene.
Later that day, the Pakistani man, two relatives and his wife went to Paphos Gate police station in Nicosia to file an official complaint against the MMAD officer. KISA claims the Pakistani was pressured by police officials to not lodge the complaint, promising that disciplinary action would be taken against him and there was no need for the case to be dragged to court as it would reflect poorly on the police force.
KISA said when TR decided to go through with the complaint police officials changed their position and promised a full investigation.
KISA demands the practice of racial profiling stops immediately and those responsible are punished according to the law.