By Evie Andreou
Files on attacks by AKEL MP Irini Charalambidou and DISY deputy Andreas Kyprianou against each other following a fracas in parliament last month when the latter reportedly tried to take an up-skirt photo of the former were sent to the office of the Attorney General on Tuesday, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said.
The case started when Charalambidou pointed her mobile phone camera at Kyprianou in a gesture indicating she would take a photo of him lighting up a cigarette before he left the room, in violation of the law that prohibits indoor smoking. Enraged, he then started hurling insults and placed his phone under her skirt trying to take a photo. He reportedly also called her a slut.
Charalambidou announced on her social media profiles that her dignity and the dignity of every woman had required that she report the incident to the police. Kyprianou then said on his Facebook page that he had reported Charalambidou’s “illegal, indecent, offensive and verbal attack” against him.
He had claimed that she first started hurling insults at him after he had asked her to erase the photos she had taken of him and another colleague lighting cigarettes, an action he acknowledged was wrong, and that he merely pointed out to her while presenting a mobile phone, that with the indecent way she was sitting, he too could take a photo of her and expose her.
“We have completed all the information and reports asked by the Attorney General and we submitted the files to his office to study the case,” Angelides told the Cyprus Mail.
Even though House speaker Yiannakis Omirou had first announced the incident would be dealt with according to parliament regulations, he later told them to sort the issue between them.
Charalambidou garnered support from female MPs who said sexist comments and abuse cannot be tolerated and called on the Attorney General to investigate, while the Administration and Human Rights
Commissioner Eliza Savvidou said the incident was not random but rather part of wider sexist and derogatory behaviour against women in politics.