Cyprus Mail

UK court to hear Eoka lawsuit next week

A court in the UK will this week hold a preliminary hearing relating to a lawsuit filed by 35 Greek Cypriots who claim they were tortured by the British during the Eoka struggle to end colonial rule and unite with Greece.

The hearing will start at around 10am on Tuesday.

The suit followed an official admission in Britain in 2013 that thousands were tortured during Kenya’s Mau Mau insurgency between 1952 and 1963.

Britain expressed regret but denied liability and settled out of court paying some 19.9 million British pounds (about €23.4 million) to 5,228 Kenyan prison camp survivors.

Foreign Office documents released in July 2012 described claims of torture and abuse during the EOKA insurgency between 1955 and 1959.

Reports from that time speak of authorities’ killing a blind man and punching a pregnant woman who then miscarried, to telling a man to dig his own grave.

During that period, a British officer described a “hysterical mob” of 150 soldiers kicking Cypriots on the ground, and beating them in the head, face and body with rifle butts.

In 1958, authorities rounded up 300 civilians and beat them, killing some in the process, another report said.

No one was held accountable for that incident, which came as a response to the murder of a British sergeant’s wife by Eoka insurgents.

The Eoka veteran’s association claimed that many survivors of the torture have been left disabled, still suffering with long-term psychological or physical problems.

They say 14 fighters died during torture by the British.

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