Cyprus Mail

ECHR rules Cyprus must pay Syrian deportees


By Andria Kades

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday ordered Cyprus to pay three Syrian Kurds deported from the island almost €17,000 in total for violating their human rights.

Filed in 2010, the cases concerned a total of 17 Syrian Kurds who applied for asylum on the island saying they were at risk of persecution and torture in their home country as they are a small minority. Cyprus deported them all in 2012. They had entered the island illegally between 2004 and 2011 except for one who arrived using a tourist visa. Some returned to the island later.

The ECHR judgment in the first case, which involves a married couple currently residing in Paphos said the applicants should jointly receive €8,000 in compensation in non-pecuniary damages and €2,956 in costs and expenses.

It cited a violation of Article 5 .1 regarding the lawfulness of their detention on June 11, 2010 when they, along with other applicants were protesting in front of government buildings against the asylum authorities and were taken to police headquarters. Some were deported on the same day, some were detained and those who were lawfully allowed to live in Cyprus were allowed to leave.

The violation refers to their transfer to and stay at police headquarters and not their detention from June 11, 2010 until May 20, 2011.

The detention of one of the two applicants of this case from November 29, 2012 to December 20, 2012 following their arrest at Paphos airport when they had tried to leave Cyprus with a false passport and without a valid residence permit was deemed to violate Article 5.1.

Although the ECHR found violations under the same article for the second case, which involved 12 applicants, their claim for just satisfaction was dismissed.

The judgement in the third case, which deals with a Syrian national of Kurdish origin who left the island voluntarily in 2012 and currently lives in northern Iraq was that he should receive €4,000 in non-pecuniary damage and €1,590 for costs and expenses.

This was due to the violation of Article 5.1 which regards the lawfulness of his detention on June 11, 2010 referring to his transfer to and stay at police headquarters. His detention, from the aforementioned date to April 20 in 2011, was not deemed to be in violation of the article.

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