An arrest warrant issued against a British mother for calling a local community leader ‘useless’ in the comments section of a Facebook post has been struck down by the Supreme Court, according to Justice Abroad, who are assisting her.
Kaela Charalampous, (a singer who uses the stage name Kaela Santosh) lives in Mandria in Paphos and was arrested in front of her young child after describing the community leader of Mandria village as ‘useless’ in a comment under a Facebook post regarding works being carried out in the village.
Justice Abroad’s Michael Polak said: “We are very pleased to learn that the Supreme Court of Cyprus has agreed that the arrest warrant issued against our client is unlawful.
However, this cannot be the end of the matter. It is worrying that the police applied for this warrant given that it is clear that no criminal offence is disclosed by the Facebook comment and an inquiry as to how this took place is needed,” he said.
Last week the Supreme Court quashed the arrest warrant as being unlawful on grounds that included a violation of freedom of expression, which were also accepted by the Attorney General, ‘who did not object to the application to quash,’ he said.
Charalampous commented on a Facebook post discussing the performance of the elected mayor with the following comment:
“He will not get another term. He never should have gotten this one. I’m glad it’s not just the Cypriot community that know how USELESS he is!!”X
Polak added that fact that the warrant was issued at 7.40pm on a Friday evening may suggest that the community leader of Mandria was given preferential access to the courts, as it seems unlikely that an ordinary citizen complaining of having their feelings hurt online would have had these actions taken on their behalf at such speed.
“This warrant should never have been issued, Mrs Charalampous should never have been arrested and taken to the police station, and an apology from the authorities should have been forthcoming once this was raised with them,” he added.
Despite charges being dropped on April 27, 2021, no apology has been forthcoming, Polak concluded.