POLICE officers who appeared in a video allegedly manhandling a 48-year-old convict in a wheelchair at Limassol hospital on Thursday acted within their mandate, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Friday.
The police felt compelled to set the record straight after the incident was recorded and circulated on social media by the man’s daughter, with claims that officers had beaten a disabled man.
The 48-year-old does not suffer from mobility problems, Angelides said, but he was in a wheelchair as part of the medical tests he had at the hospital.
According to police sources, the man is a convict serving time in the central prisons. He was transferred to Limassol to be brought to court on Thursday morning, but before arriving, he told officers he was not feeling well and was taken to the hospital where he was examined.
Angelides said that the medical tests were completed at around 3.30pm and was discharged, but that “he began shouting, demanding more tests, which were carried out by the doctors who did not find any problems”.
“People gathered on site together with relatives who were trying to prevent his transfer back to the central prisons, while videoing the incident,” Angelides said.
He added that the 48-year-old was shouting and resisting his transfer to the police car, while he threw water at a sergeant.
“Appropriate force was used to take him to the transport vehicle and then to the central prisons,” Angelides said.
In the video, a man in a wheelchair sitting in a hospital waiting room, is seen shouting saying that he felt ill and doctors were saying there was nothing wrong with him.
He continued to yell, when officers tried to remove him, and he resisted.
Around four officers were seen circling the man, but it is not clear what happened as the video is shaky, but his daughter is heard screaming at them to stop beating him. Another man present was doing the same.
Angelides said that the 48-year-old’s daughter and a friend of hers reported that they, too, were beaten by the officers during the incident and that they were to be examined by a state pathologist so that a report would be prepared. The report is to be sent to the police headquarters and to the Independent Investigative Authority for Complaints against the Police for investigation as per the standard procedure in such cases.
The video may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/xristina.pelloua.ael/videos/1976467335918762/