A 103-person lawsuit against the state for its Covid policy was rejected at Nicosia district court on procedural grounds, it emerged on Monday.
The lawsuit named the attorney-general, former Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou and members of the state epidemiological team, where it sought to argue that state measures taken during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic were unconstitutional.
Nonetheless, Nicosia district court rejected the lawsuit on procedural grounds, saying the plaintiffs repeatedly failed to write their full addresses on the writ.
Additionally, of the 103 plaintiffs, minors who were included were not represented by both parents, nor was their legal representation signed by both parents.
The proceedings were therefore invalid and improper, the Nicosia court ruled.
With the rejection of the lawsuit, attorney fees and expenses were filed to the plaintiffs.
Cyprus’ Covid and vaccine policy sparked a huge wave of public debate, with certain groups slamming measures as draconian and an infringement on privacy. This included the requirement for the public to send a text message for permission to leave the house three times per day.
Causing more resentment was the decision to exclude tourists from this requirement when Cyprus allowed them to re-enter the island.
Additionally, strict curfews had been in place for months, and protests – under the umbrella of mass gatherings – were banned.
Nonetheless, one protest culminated with what was later called disproportionate use of force by the police, who used batons, teargas and water cannon against the protesters.
Anastasia Demetriadou, aged 25, sustained permanent damage to her eye after being hit with a water jet.
Sparking more ire was the arrest of Harvard-educated epidemiologist Elpidoforos Soteriades, who spoke at one of the protests calling the government’s tactics as “blackmail to force people to get vaccinated whether they like it or not.”
Soteriades’ lawyer Yiannos Georgiades said at the time that police suspected his client of either being an organiser of the demonstration or an instigator.
Georgiades denied both claims, saying that Soteriades was innocent and had not committed any crime – stating that there is evidence that he was not an organiser and he has condemned the violence.
“In a democratic country that respects human rights and freedom of speech, his address on its own should never lead to an arrest,” he said.
Around two years after the outbreak, 84.3 per cent of the population was vaccinated with two doses or one Janssen jab.
As of February 22, around 480,000 third-dose vaccines had been administered. Vaccines became another sore topic across the population, as access to places including malls and even Tepak university were not permitted for unvaccinated individuals.