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Cyprus

New justice minister visits Nicosia prisons

Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis at the imprisoned graves (PIO)

Newly-appointed Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis on Friday discussed issues plaguing the prisons including overcrowding, during her visit and tour with Prison Director Anna Aristotelous.

Yiolitis toured the imprisoned graves, a small cemetery within the prison grounds that contains the graves of 13 Eoka fighters who were executed or died during the 1955-1959 struggle against British rule.

Yiolitis and Aristotelous discussed ways of solving the prison issues and the system of deactivating mobile phones, which is set to be completed by the end of the month.

The minister said she hoped they would be able to find solutions to the problems and achieve goals.

On her part Aristotelous said they follow a people-centric model, with equal treatment at the prisons, and that they seek to help reintroduce convicts into society.

“The fact that the [new] minister is starting with a visit to the prisons, demonstrates in the clearest way her sensitivity towards the difficult work that is being done,” she said. Yiolitis was appointed on Monday.

Commenting on education in the prisons, Aristotelous said the system in Cyprus was recognised by the European Council and the Europris organisation.

‘Three quarters of the inmates participate in our school programmes, we have included a summer technical school, the night gymnasium and lyceum,” she said. She also said 15 inmates were studying university courses.

“We believe through education, we can change attitudes, mentalities, and behaviours,” Aristotelous added.



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