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Cyprus
May 21, 2019
Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

‘Break their bones’, ex Disy MP urges in Facebook rant against bird activists

MP Hamboullas seen here enjoying ambelopoulia

One-time Disy MP Evgenios Hamboullas sparked outrage on Friday after he urged people in Famagusta to attack and beat up foreign activists fighting the illegal hunting of songbirds.

His outburst came after a statement by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (Cabs) said 29 of its volunteers had collected 2,596 limesticks and 53 nets in the district, one of two main hotspots for bird trapping, a lucrative business that fetches millions to poachers.

In a rant on his Facebook page Hamboullas accused the authorities of treason and urged residents to attack the activists.

“Break their bones wherever you find them and if you can’t, call me and I will help,” he said.

The remark sparked outrage elsewhere on the island with people calling on Disy chief Averof Neophytou to oust Hamboullas from the party.

“It was an unacceptable post. There is no excuse. He ought to withdraw and apologise in public,” Neophytou said on Twitter.

Hamboullas has since removed the post.

This was not the first time Hamboullas caused a stir regarding the issue.

While in parliament in January 2016, he had posted a photo on social media of himself at a dinner table with a platter of songbirds.

He claimed he did it because he supported legalisation of hunting blackcaps, or ambelopoulia as they are known locally, albeit not with limesticks and nets, as is the current practice.

The attorney-general chose not to press charges at the time because putting together a criminal against a sitting MP for eating illegal game was difficult.

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