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Greens say Tillyria residents are held hostage, must stop

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The Green Party has condemned the ‘arrest’ and continued detention of four fishermen by Turkish soldiers in the Tillyria region last week, calling the action
illegal and demanding the military enclave be dissolved and free movement restored in the area.

They said recent actions are tantamount to residents in the area being held hostage.

According to the Green party, a 33-year-old Greek Cypriot fisherman and his three Egyptian crew will remain in detention for 15 days whilst investigations are carried out in the north, following their arrest in waters off the enclave of Kokkina last week.

They were detained for ‘entering Turkish Cypriot waters illegally’.

The Greens noted that the opening of the Limnitis checkpoint, which allows for travel to and from the north, has done little to improve the situation in the area and said that residents are living as Turkish hostages.

They said the ‘kidnapping’ of the four fishermen has shown that there are still huge problems in the area and said that former President Demitris Christofias allowed the continued presence of occupying forces in the region.

A statement said: “We need to dissolve the military enclave and to remove restrictions on movements that currently apply to Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and others in the region. The presence of the enclave of Kokkina only causes problems in the region, which is condemned to isolation and stagnation. What action is the government going to take?”

According to reports, the fisherman and his crew aboard the St. Raphael were arrested by Turkish forces in the area of Pachyammos. They were initially taken to the enclave of Kokkina, before being interrogated and held in Limnitis.

The man called his family from Limnitis on Thursday, to inform them that the four had been questioned and would be taken to court for a remand hearing.
The Greens said that the case has been reported to the United Nations.

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