A memorial was held on Sunday to mark 20 years since Tasos Isaac and his cousin Solomos Solomou from Paralimni were killed by Turks during separate anti-occupation demonstrations in Dherynia the same week in 1996.
According to CNA, the church in Paralimni was packed with residents along with dozens of motorcyclists whose initial protest starting in Nicosia had sparked the Dherynia demo in which Isaac was beaten to death inside the buffer zone.
Solomou was killed a few days later in a new protest after Isaac’s funeral in Paralimni. He had climbed a flagpole and torn down a Turkish flag and was shot from a balcony on the north side of the buffer zone by Kenan Akin, the then Turkish Cypriot ‘agriculture minister’.
Sunday’s memorial was also attended by ultra-right wing ELAM members who lined the street holding Greek flags and shouting slogans. Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides also attended as did other members of government, parliamentary parties, political organisations, sports clubs and youth clubs.
There was a strong police presence in the area, CNA said.
After the memorial service and the laying of wreaths on the graves of both men, the motorbikers went to the buffer zone in Dherynia and laid a wreath under the watchful eye of the police.
Meanwhile, accompanied by personnel from UNFICYP, Anastasia, the daughter of Tasos Isaac, who was still unborn at the time her father was killed, was allowed into the buffer zone to the spot where he was beaten, where she laid a wreath, CNA reported. One was also laid where Solomou was killed.