Cyprus Mail

Menoyia detainee attempts suicide

By Constantinos Psillides

Nikolai Paskelev, a Bulgarian national held at Menoyia Detention Center, attempted suicide on Monday by slitting his wrists, eye witnesses told the Cyprus Mail.

Paskelev was found unconscious, having written “Fredoom” on the lavatory wall, in his own blood.

Eye witnesses told the Cyprus Mail that Paskelev was being treated at the facility’s medical unit.

The incident was confirmed by the Detention Centre, with an unnamed official claiming that this was not a suicide attempt but, “a self-inflicted injury.”

He has been detained at Menoyia for the last four months, with no word about his deportation.

He came to Cyprus in December 2013 and was later arrested on charges of burglary. He was acquitted in February but immediately re-arrested and sent to Menoyia to be deported.

The Bulgarian national told the Cyprus Mail on June 19 that the immigration services promised him that someone would drive him to the airport and put him on a plane but nobody showed up.

“This feels like a kidnapping. I am held here and nobody tells me anything. A court decided I did nothing wrong but they still arrested me and won’t deport me back. I don’t know what to do,” Paskelev had said.

“My family lives in Greece, my wife and son are in Thessaloniki. I own a house there. I have no issue with being deported. I want to leave. I want to go to my family,” added Paskelev.

A high ranking official had told the Cyprus Mail then that it was not unusual for an EU citizen to be detained at Menoyia, but admitted that four months is an unusual length of time.

This is the second reported case of detainees attempting suicide in just a few months, with the first being a Syrian who tried to hang himself in his cell on January.

Living conditions in Menoyia have been heavily criticised, with Ombudswoman Eliza Savvidou appearing in June before the House Ethics Committee, liking the detention centre to “a maximum security prison”.



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