Hundreds of students in Cyprus took to the streets on Thursday to commemorate a 1973 protest in Greece during which dozens died when the army cracked down on students opposing the rule of the military junta of the day.

To mark the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising, the Pancyprian Coordinating Student Committee (Psem) lauded the participation in the remembrance event.

“With their presence, they showed again that the student youth in our country does not forget those who even sacrificed their lives for the obvious,” Psem said in a statement.

“The students, with their militancy, their size and slogans, sent messages against imperialism and fascism, while honouring the heroic students of the Polytechnic who fought for democracy, freedom and national independence,” it added.

Students also protested outside the embassy of the United States, which provided tacit support to a seven-year military dictatorship in Greece that finally collapsed in 1974.

According to the statement, students said “the oppressive and brutal fascist regime of the junta had played an important role in the twin crimes against Cyprus, having organised the coup of July 15, 1974 with Eoka B thus opening the door for Turkey to invade and occupy one third of the Cyprus, which continues to this day”.

Psem said students would continue the fight against wars and fascism, against Nato “and its blood-soaked domination of a world of peace and brotherhood”.

They would also continue to fight for a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible based on UN resolutions and summit agreements, they said.