Cyprus Mail

Bill to protect victims of crime set to be voted in next month

Akel's Irini Charalambidou

A bill to protect victims of crime is set to be voted on in March, following the completion of discussions on the matter at the House human rights committee.

The proposal for a law on the establishment of minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime was tabled by the committee’s chairwoman Akel MP Irini Charalambidou.

She said the bill “has been subject to consultation and repeated discussion in the committee, as well as consultation with all stakeholders.

“The comments made were adopted,” she added, saying the bill will be taken to the house plenum on March 3 for a vote.

Among other things, the proposed law provides that in cases where there is a potential or established risk of harm to the victim of a criminal act, the police will inform the victim they have the right to be made aware of the date of imprisonment or escape of a person who has been detained, charged or convicted.

The complainants will also be informed of measures decided to protect the victim.

Charalambidou added the debate on victims of gender-based violence will start next week.

Part of the debate will be protocols for dealing with victims of gender-based violence, for the investigation of complaints by the police, for the training of judges and the adjudication of cases of gender-based violence, as well as for the way such cases are covered by the media.

This issue has been raised by members of the parliamentary committee, Charalambidou said, in the light of the recent Supreme Court decision which overturned the conviction of a British woman who was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence for causing public mischief to 12 Israelis after claiming they had raped her.

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