Cyprus Mail

Woman injured by water cannon undergoes eye operation (Updated)

protesters and activists are sprayed with a water cannon during a rally against corruption and covid 19 restriction measures, in nicosia
The water cannon being used in the February protest

A 25-year-old woman who was injured by a police water cannon during a protest in Nicosia on Saturday underwent an eye operation on Monday.

Local musician Anastasia Demetriadou participated in the ‘Enough!’ protest against corruption and Covid-19 measures with other culture and art workers, in addition to other groups and members of the public.

Police used a water cannon in an attempt to disperse the demonstration which went ahead after police had warned the ban on mass gatherings as part of the pandemic measures remained in place.

The pressure of the water knocked the young musician off her feet and caused her an eye injury. An ambulance was called to the scene at around 6pm and she was taken to hospital.

On Monday morning, the day of the official release of her first EP, Demetriadou underwent laser surgery on her left eye. According to a close contact it still is not clear whether there will be any long-term damage to her eyesight.

In a statement on social media she said: “I have serious eye injury and I need an operation, but I don’t regret anything!”

Her EP “Confessions to my Songbird” is available online and includes five stories about the idea of Home, Nature, Loss, Suppression, and Artistic Infatuation.

Anastasia after being hit by the water cannon

Police heavy handedness on Saturday has been strongly criticised.

“Cyprus police attacked with weapons civilians, elderly people and children,” Demetriadou said in her post.

An officer at the scene told a Cyprus Mail reporter that it is not the force’s fault for the injury of the woman as “we warned the demonstrators we were going to shoot water,” and that she was being “careless”.

Demetriadou said she was dancing at the time police used the water cannon. “I got hit by the police just because I was dancing on the pavement, like the free citizen I thought I was,” she wrote on Facebook after the demonstration.

Eleven people were arrested during the protest for assaulting a police officer, resistance to arrest and rioting. Police also issued six fines for violation of the measures against the spread of coronavirus.

The demonstration was organised by a number of NGOs and left-wing groups.


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