By Constantinos Psillides
SIX detainees at the Menoyia detention centre climbed on the roof of the building on Monday morning to protest their prolonged detention, according to a police report.
As of late last night, the detainees, some of whom have been in Menoyia over 18 months, refused to climb down and refused to be given food or water.
The detainees, five Iranians and an Afghan, demanded to be set free, pointing out that the state had no right to keep them there.
Under EU law, a person can be detained for a period of six months before being deported back to their country of origin. A police spokesman that the detainees were refusing to cooperate with negotiators and that they shredded their travel documents and refused to accompany police officers to their country’s embassy to arrange their deportation.
“They are trying to blackmail the authorities into setting them free on Cyprus soil,” said the spokesman.
The detainees climbed onto the roof using a water pipe in the detention centre’s backyard.
Officers from the emergency rescue unit EMAK rushed to the scene but were unable to convince the detainees to climb down.