THE mother and relatives of Ramy El Kady, 41, the Egyptian man shot dead by police in May during a hostage situation have expressed concern over the lack of information surrounding the circumstances of his death.
“We fully understand the concerns of the family,” said Doros Polycarpou of the immigrant support group KISA who are officially authorised to represent the interests of the relatives in relation to the investigation and any legal proceedings to do with the killing.
“A month and a half after the police shot Ramy the family is still completely in the dark. They have not been given the coroner’s report or any official information about how and why he was shot dead that evening. This all in spite of repeated attempts. Requests were made both verbally and in writing. A meeting with Lambros Themistocleous the Assistant Chief of Police resulted in his refusal to divulge any information surrounding the case citing the ongoing independent criminal investigation,” said Polycarpou.
Polycarpou described as unacceptable the fact that the Cypriot authorities were using the ongoing investigation as an excuse to keep the relatives of El Kady uninformed.
“The need to give the family all the necessary information in order they understand and know what happened that day cannot under any circumstances be considered an interference in the investigation being carried out as it is the state’s obligation towards the relatives who lost a member of their family. We find it incredible that the case is being handled this way and wonder if the police would be able to act in this manner if the dead man was Cypriot.”
Asked by the Cyprus Mail what possible reasons there could be in the lack of communication with the family, Polycarpou said: “We are afraid that the investigation is being conveniently used to keep the incident out of the eyes of the media until, with time, it blows over and is forgotten.”
“I also find it strange that although the authorities were aware of KISA representing the family, they have chosen to deal with this issue through diplomatic channels, completely ignoring the family and its representatives in Cyprus.”
Polycarpou believes the inquest has gone on long enough and needs to be completed as soon as possible in order for the attorney-general, on whose orders the investigation is being carried out, can decide whether there are any responsibilities to be apportioned.
“This is important, not only for the relatives, who may want to move legally against any possible liabilities but for society to have a clear picture on why a man lost his life through the actions of the police that night.”
Officers shot dead El Kady on May 21 after he threatened to kill his 16-month-old son during a six-hour hostage standoff with the rapid response unit at his home in Oroklini. Hostage negotiation operation began the night before when neighbours informed police that the child’s father was in the midst of a huge fight with his Hungarian wife, 36.
Police say they went around and knocked on the door several times but no one answered.
At around 10pm, the wife went to the convenience store and the husband followed her with the child in his arms. When officers approached them, the father fled back to the apartment and locked himself in a room taking the child hostage. The situation dragged on until the early hours until the shooting just before 6am though the exact sequence of events remains unclear.