Cyprus Mail

Defence ministry orders probe into homophobic video

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The ministry of defence

The defence ministry on Thursday said it had ordered an investigation after a noncommissioned officer (NCO) was seen on a TikTok video calling homosexuality something that goes against nature.

“This incident is condemnable. We accept every person the way they are. There is no discrimination against anyone and rest assured that this will be investigated and the findings will be published,” the defence ministry’s spokesman Andreas Stylianou told CNA.

The video sparked nationwide uproar with Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides condemning “the extreme racist language” saying it created a sentiment of disgust.

She said she was preparing a letter to the police chief to explore a criminal investigation.

Stylianou said the process for a ministry investigation is underway. “The minister and national guard chief have given orders for an investigation. The position of the ministry was clear.”

The contentious video begins with the NCO saying: “You are gay and wrong, going against nature.”

“You should shut your ass and your mouth and work with the tools you have to become a man, in the way God naturally created you.”

Asked if the defence ministry decided to investigate following Lottides’ intervention, Stylianou said they began investigating once members of the public and Accept LGBTI community filed complaints.

“As soon as the minister received the email he gave the orders for an investigation, which was followed by the ombudswoman’s intervention.”

Should the ministry find there are grounds for a criminal offence, police will have the right to interfere, he explained.

Speaking to CNA, Lottides said “our role is to intervene with a position we take and proceed to the necessary departments which in this care are the defence ministry and police chief.”

On Wednesday, she called on the defence ministry to intervene while on Thursday she was formalising her request in writing to both the ministry and police.

“There is a strong legal framework with which they can investigate and identify whether there was a criminal offence or not.”

In her earlier statement she said the NCO “humiliates and degrades human dignity which could drive other people to commit violent acts against the LGBTI community.”

Accept LGBTI blasted the content, saying the man had also posted other material telling the world that if he had a gay son, he would shoot him.

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