By Evie Andreou
State broadcaster CyBC got in trouble with the broadcasting watchdog after playing a song about the suicide of a disabled man as part of a competition.
The song, titled “I istoria tou Stamati” (Stamatis’ story), was broadcast last Friday at the semi finals of the annual Cypriot Song contest organised by CyBC.
Stamatis, the song said, was a soldier who lost an arm and a leg at war and before returning home, he wrote to his parents to inform them of his arrival.
But instead of letting them know about his condition he asked them if they could take in a friend of his who “was crippled”.
After his parents’ refusal with the justification that they could not take care of him, he committed suicide because he did not want to be a burden.
The composer, a man from Paphos, claimed the song is based on a true story.
“The song’s lyrics may be deemed as insulting to people with disabilities,” the broadcasting authority said in a letter to CyBC following a number of complaints from the public.
“Furthermore, through the song’s lyrics a dangerous behaviour is described (suicide) which could be copied,” the letter said.
The head of the Paraplegics Association, Demetris Lambriandes, said that the message of the song is outdated and it is not compatible with efforts for the inclusion of the disabled in social life.
“We find unacceptable in this time and age to see messages that project the rejection of people with disabilities,” Lambrianides told the Cyprus Mail.
Reportedly the song caused the ire of the bishop of Tamassos Isaias, who said that suicide is ablasphemy.