Friends and relatives of a young mother held a demonstration outside the family court in Paphos on Tuesday, demanding the suspension of a decision to return her underage son to his father in the US.
The court will decide on Wednesday whether to grant a request to suspend the decision, by which she must return the child to his father, an American national, by February 10.
The dad had reported the woman for abducting the child from New York where they lived when he was 12-months-old and bringing him to Cyprus in 2017.
The woman has filed a motion to suspend the decision arguing among others that he risked going through a physical and mental ordeal if he was to return.
The court also said no proof had been submitted to show that the child has adjusted to life in Cyprus and going back to the US would be harmful.
The motion also argues that the child’s health would be in serious danger in the US due to the Covid pandemic, unlike in Cyprus where the situation was better.
The mother pledged to agree to any conditions set by the court for as long as the suspension was in place, and to help the father contact the child, something which he never did before, as she claimed.
She also argued that immediate execution of the decision would render her appeal obsolete since there was no mechanism in place for her to get her child back.
The mother told reporters she had left the house they were living in in October 2017 and travelled to Cyprus through a shelter.
She claims she was being systematically abused by the father and that was why she abandoned him, bringing the child with her.
The mother said she had sought protection from the US authorities and at the same time contacted the Cypriot consulate in New York and managed to get a passport for her son. The child is also a US passport holder and an American citizen.
The head of the island’s single-parent family association expressed support for the mother.
Argendoula Ioannou said Cyprus ought to protect mother and child, who have been living on the island for the past three and a half years.