Over a thousand people gathered in Limassol to demonstrate their support to the family of Thanasis Nicolaou, a national guardsman that died in 2005 under suspicious circumstances.

“We condemn all those responsible for this inhuman suffering, with the aim of covering up the obvious crime, and we demand the surrender of the murderers who covered up the crime for 18 whole years,” his mother Andriana Nicolaou told those gathered outside the municipal office in Limassol on Sunday to show support for the family.

“This time is holy, and we are all the same, since our goal is a common one for truth and justice for the unfortunate loss of Thanasis.”

In 2005 Nicolaou’s body was found under a bridge in Alassa; police and the army at the time ruled his death as a suicide.

His mother has always said her son was murdered because he witnessed drug dealing in his army camp and was subjected to bullying.

An ECHR ruling prompted the exhumation of his remains two years ago over suspicions of foul play and further autopsies showed he had been beaten and strangled.

One of the investigators tasked with carrying out the third inquiry into his death said last year that criminal acts had been committed.

However, in June after the case was reopened, the attorney-general’s office announced that no evidence of criminal wrongdoing has come up in the case following their investigations.

Andriana added that the family “will fight for justice, which means finding and punishing the guilty individuals involved in the cover up of the brutal murder of Thanasis”.

“Your voice became the voice of justice and dignity against the injustice and shame of their action,” she said.

“For 18 years I have been fighting endless bureaucracy and corruption to prove to the wilfully blind that my child did not fall off the bridge but was killed in the army because unfortunately he realised there was drug dealing and was silenced when he indignantly confided and spoke out to the officers, commander, and chief of staff.”

After the protest in Limassol, a protest event will be held outside the attorney-general’s office in Nicosia, Wednesday, July 12, the date on which Thanasis Nikolaou was enlisted in the National Guard.