Cyprus Mail

Supreme court orders woman released from Menoyia

Menoyia detention centre

The supreme court has ordered the immediate release of a third country national from police detention at Menoyia where she was being held pending her deportation, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Friday.

In granting a habeas corpus writ, the court rejected the attorney-general’s objections to the woman’s release.

The woman had been designated an illegal migrant last May. A detention and deportation order were issued, but she refused to be repatriated. The attorney general’s argument to court was that the civil registry and migration department had in June last year approved a police escort for her deportation.  Three reviews between August and December had decided the woman should remain in detention. Despite efforts to repatriate her, she did not cooperate.

In filing her claim that her detention was illegal, the woman had argued that the duration of her detention was never reviewed in line with article 18 of the law on foreigners and immigration, which prohibits detentions except for specific periods of time and under specific preconditions.

That article stipulates that the detention order is issued by the interior minister, who exercising their rights under the law, authorizes the director or deputy director of the civil registry a migration department.

The court examined whether the deputy director had issued the latest detention order against the woman and found that data presented did now show such a decision.

It noted that the last review dated December 27, 2021, signed by an immigration official suggesting she remain in detention, also bore a signature of the deputy director with the date December 28, 2021.

“The signature and the date are without a text,” the court said, disagreeing with the attorney general’s position that the signature and date disclose the deputy director’s decision to extend the detention.

The deputy director’s signature on the top part of the first page of the document and a record of the date under her signature do not disclose her decision to extend the detention, it found.

“Speculation and theories are not allowed, especially for issues that involve deprivation of liberty of a person,” the court said.

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