A social media firestorm has broken out on Monday, following attacks against migrants, their businesses, and cars in Chlorakas overnight, with the village mukhtar and a refugee NGO trading accusations over the former’s involvement in the episodes.
Refugee NGO, Kisa went on the offensive first saying that following the anti-migrant protest on Sunday night, which was quickly followed by riots, mukhtar Nicolas Liasides also took part in the rioting.
According to Kisa, after the end of the protest in Chlorakas, groups of a total of 200-300 people, started ‘pogroms’ in Chlorakas, Lemba and Emba with attacks using clubs and knives against Syrians and their homes and property.
“In one of these groups, based on our information, the community leader of Chlorakas himself participated who, according to a claim, attacked a Syrian man, who tried to protect his eight-year-old daughter, and caused him bodily harm. The Syrian in question was transferred to the A&E and intends to make a complaint to the police,” the group wrote.
The group also claimed that none of the incidents of attacks on migrants were impromptu, but instead have been orchestrated through social media, where extreme-right groups incite others to form groups and get rid of the migrants.
“These pogroms were neither spontaneous nor a reaction to alleged provocations by immigrants. For a few days now, and especially in the last 24 hours, extreme right-wing and fascist elements have been mobilising their allies through social media, to present and form raiding parties to clear Paphos and then the whole of Cyprus of refugees,” Kisa said.
However, in response Liasides said that Kisa has been pushing migrants, some not legally residing in Cyprus, to attack him and commit crimes against other Cypriot citizens, which led to the incidents on Sunday night.
“Unfortunately, I am in the unpleasant position of being informed that the leader of an illegal association (NGO) with his manner, his actions, his behaviour and his posts on social media is extolling foreigners, including some who are illegally in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, to commit crimes against me personally as the head of the community, but also against citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, resulting in incidents that threaten the safety of citizens,” he said.
He also claimed that Kisa is telling migrants to file police complaints against him personally.
Liasides said that he will file his own complaint with the police against KISA and take legal measures against the NGO.
Hitting back though, Kisa called on Liasides to answer some simple questions, including where he was the moment one of the migrants yesterday was stabbed, and whether he knew or had issues with the individual in the past.
Most political forces in the country condemned the violence that ensued following the protest on Sunday.
However, on Kisa’s social media some users are sticking up for Liasides calling for “not one refugee to remain” and asking for them to all leave and be deported.
Another wrote “Get rid of NGOs, they support foreign interests against Greek Cypriots.”