The non-commissioned (NCO) officer who called homosexuality unnatural in a TikTok video may face criminal charges, police said on Tuesday after completing investigations.
The findings were sent to the legal service for further direction, police spokesman Andreas Christou said.
According to defence ministry spokesman Andreas Stylianou, the NCO will continue in his role until the legal service makes a decision on how to proceed.
Christou noted that under the law on homophobia, xenophobia and racist rhetoric spread online, the NCO can face criminal charges with up to a five-year prison sentence.
“Specific suggestions were made to the legal service based on the criminal charges and we are waiting for their direction on how to proceed,” Stylianou said.
Asked how the ministry will react if the case goes to court, Stylianou said they could not get ahead of themselves.
“Because there’s currently an ongoing investigation, you cannot take any action without an opinion. The NCO continues his duties until a decision is made. This does not affect the investigation because he has already given a statement. All we can do is wait. We will take a decision if and when the case goes to court.”
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.”
Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou Lottides described the video as disgusting, while she strongly condemned “the extreme racist language”. She called on police and the defence ministry to take action as soon as the video emerged.
Lottides said the contentious video confirms that despite positive developments in cementing human rights for LGBTQI people through a legal framework, the reality shows that there are still members of society that are extremely vulnerable to homophobic stances, views and attitudes.
“The NCO humiliates and degrades human dignity which could drive other people to commit violent acts against the LGBTI community,” she said.