Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Jail for men who broke into migrant camp to settle personal differences (Updated)

Pournara migrant reception centre (File photo)

Six of eight men arrested at Pournara migrant reception centre were sentenced to jail time on Wednesday for illegally entering the centre with offensive weapons the day before.

Another two men arrested for the incident pleaded not guilty after all eight appeared at the Nicosia district court. They were released on €5,000 bail, until the next hearing, which will be on September 10.

The other six all pleaded guilty in court and were sentenced to jail time ranging from 10 to 30 days.

The incident took place at around 10.15pm on Tuesday, police said after officers spotted a man who was not a resident of Pournara inside the centre’s compound.

The suspect tried to flee but was detained by police who later found seven more individuals inside the compound. Police said in their possession, the men had iron bars, wooden clubs and other offensive weapons.

Police said one the suspects, 28, had entered the reception centre to resolve differences with a person who is staying inside.

After his arrest, according to reports, his friends assaulted police by hurling stones and other objects against them.

Officers used teargas to subdue the assailants who were eventually arrested. No one was injured during the fracas.

The suspects appeared in court on Wednesday, where they were charged immediately.

Migrants and asylum seekers have been arriving consistently in Cyprus over the past few weeks, with 21 arriving from Lebanon and Syria on Tuesday.

Another 23 arrived a day before from Syria, when they were found in a boat near Pervolia, Larnaca.

All the recent arrivals have been taken to the Pournara camp, where they are quarantined pending a coronavirus test.

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