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Cyprus

ICRC study finds shortfalls at Menoyia centre

The detention centre at Menoyia

RESEARCH conducted by the Cyprus Red Cross Society (CRCS) found several shortcomings at the Menoyia Detention Centre, the organisation’s deputy head Leda Koursoumba has said, adding that a report based on the findings will soon be sent to Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou.

The report was part of a year-long programme implemented by the CRCS in cooperation with state services to provide immigrants held at the detention centre with psycho-social services.

The Menoyia centre receives irregular immigrants who face deportation and immigrants who are involved in criminal cases and are detained until their trial.

In addition to the research, whose aim Koursoumba said was to “chart the real conditions at Menoyia”, psychologists and social workers implemented several activities for the detainees.

She said that they also organised sports events to help detainees improve their social skills and they are also offered Greek language lessons.

English language courses, as well as communication with relatives using platforms such as Skype are also in the plans, she said.

The programme, funded by EEA grants, also reached out to the staff.

Even though there are instructions on how to prevent suicides, she said, not all staff members were familiar with them, she said.

“We also focused on the problems the staff experience, because by helping them, they provide better support to the detainees,” Koursoumba said.

She added that the staff participated in seminars on stress, depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome, to be able to handle such cases, since detainees are often diagnosed with these conditions.

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