Three lawyers representing some of the persons arrested over Sunday evening’s disturbances were themselves placed under arrest and detained after coming forth to represent their clients, the Cyprus Mail has learned.
The lawyers have since been released, having been detained overnight.
Legal sources familiar with the matter said two of the attorneys have been charged with ‘trespassing with intent to commit an offence’; one of them was also charged with resisting arrest.
At least one of the lawyers has already filed a complaint to the Independent Authority for the Investigation of Allegations and Complaints Against the Police, as well as to the Cyprus Bar Association.
The Cyprus Mail’s sources said the lawyers initially went to the Likavitos police station in Nicosia to speak with their clients, who had been arrested over Sunday night’s incidents and were being booked.
Police denied the attorneys entry, telling them they needed a SafePass to get in. The requirement for a SafePass for entry into government buildings does not take effect until Tuesday.
The issue later became moot, as the attorneys were told their clients – understood to be youths – were taken to Nicosia CID.
Going to Nicosia CID, two of the attorneys walked in and asked to see their clients. Initially they were allowed inside the building.
Shortly later, another officer showed up and informed the attorneys he had orders that no one was to be let inside. The attorneys were asked to leave.
The lawyers protested, saying they had a right to see their clients. A discussion ensued with the police officers.
At one point, police placed handcuffs on one of the lawyers – a man – and arrested him on the grounds of trespassing with intent to commit an offence. The ‘offence’ was not specified.
The second lawyer – a woman – was apparently pushed by an officer or officers, and when she told them not to touch her, she was likewise placed in handcuffs and arrested for trespassing and for resisting arrest.
From outside, a third lawyer – also there to represent a client – was filming the goings-on inside the CID building.
Once police spotted her, they approached her and seized her phone. Police informed her that she was ‘filming illegally’ and arrested her for that.
The three lawyers were detained, and released early on Monday morning. They have since been allowed to see their clients.
They have reported their treatment by police, and are considering legal action.