Pro reunification group UniteCyprusNow (UCN) has censured authorities for the extra checks recently implemented at crossing points, asking whether these are intended to discourage Greek Cypriots from travelling to the north.
In a statement titled ‘Stop intimidating people who want to cross!’ the group said this was the first time “such checks have been introduced in such a rigorous and organised manner since crossing points were first opened in 2003, following what seems to be a policy change by the Republic of Cyprus authorities, who now appear to be of the opinion that there are internal borders in Cyprus.”
UCN added: “We wonder what lies behind this policy change. Is it a deliberate political action to dissuade people from crossing by making it as lengthy and unpleasant a process as possible and thereby discourage contact between the two communities? Contact has long been known to be effective in reducing prejudice between groups. Or is it part of their attempt to prepare us for partition and a hard border with Turkey?”
The group calls on authorities to “immediately stop this intimidation at the crossing points and provide an explanation whether these checks is an arbitrary decision on the part of unelected bureaucrats or a political choice on the part of the government. We also demand to know what they hope to achieve by it.”
“We urge all citizens, who object to their freedom of movement being curtailed in this way, to join us in our fight to reunite the country and abolish all crossing points forever.”