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Kisa to file complaint with police watchdog after Polykarpou arrested (Updated)

Kisa's Doros Polycarpou

MIGRANT support NGO, Kisa said on Friday it would file a complaint with the independent police watchdog after its executive director, Doros Polykarpou was arrested in the morning.

The organisation said that at approximately 10:30am, Polykarpou heard someone shouting outside of their offices, and went to see what was happening.  The police had stopped a boy, 16, a foreign national, who was driving a motorcycle.  After investigating, police said the teen was driving a stolen bike.

According to Kisa, when he went outside, Polykarpou saw a police officer shouting into his hand-held and at a boy on a motorbike next to him. When Polykarpou approached the young man to ask if he needed help,  “the police officer rudely asked him to leave immediately and when he refused, saying it was a public place and had every right to stay and watch what was happening, the police officer said he was being arrested for obstructing police work. The police officer then alerted his colleagues, who arrived at the scene and arrested him and handcuffed him to Lycavitos police station”.

“He also threatened with arrest all other Kisa people who were there. This is despite the assurances of Doros Polykarpou that there was no intention to hinder the work of the police,” the Kisa statement added. At the police station, Polykarpou was charged and released.

The NGO has filed a complaint over Polykarpou’s treatment, adding that Kisa had previously filed a complaint against the same officer after they witnessed him shouting at a migrant in Solomou Square on June 1.

“It is not known to what extent this particular police officer treats Cypriots in the same way, but Kisa has many complaints from migrant women about the violent, inhuman and unacceptable behaviour of the police officer in question,” it added.

“And we are sure that, as in the case of the five previous criminal complaints [against Kisa], all of which were thrown out by the court, this time around justice will also rule in favour and ridicule this endeavour,” Kisa said.

“Kisa is of the view that this case, the sixth, is part of the criminalisation and attempt to intimidate and retaliate against it for its work in supporting migrant women and protecting human rights.”

The organisation said it would also file a complaint with the police watchdog, and called on the police and the justice minister to examine the specific police officer’s record.

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