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Man arrested after Chlorakas riots in custody pending trial

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A 47-year-old Syrian man that had been arrested on Monday following riots in Chlorakas between migrants and Greek Cypriots far-right extremists will remain in police custody until September 22, which will be the start date of the case filed against him, the Paphos court decided on Thursday.

On Wednesday it emerged that the 47-year-old Syrian man, who had sat in a meeting with Justice Minister Anna Procopiou and the police chief on Monday night had also been arrested after he tested positive in a narcotest.

Earlier on Monday, he had been filmed on camera saying the migrants “would turn Paphos upside down” and was arrested.

Later that evening after going viral on social media, he spoke on camera and apologised, attributing his verbal assault to stress and anxiety from the volatile situation.

On Thursday, the court decided that the man would remain in custody until September 22, which is the day the trial against him is due to start.

The man had previous arrest warrants issued for previous crimes including burglary.

Police said that the 47-year-old is facing charges of not only burglary, but also spreading fake news, instigating violence, inciting other to commit a crime and knife-wielding.

In another incident, following the violence and rioting in Chlorakas, Paphos police decided to reopen an abduction case from a month ago, where two Arabic-speaking suspects are purported to have abducted a Greek Cypriot individual.

Paphos police said that they were searching for two men, suspected of abducting a Greek Cypriot back in July, despite no complaint being filed against the two men.

According to Paphos police, on July 28 around 11pm, officers received an anonymous tip that two Arabic-speaking men had abducted a Greek Cypriot, who police later found at a beach abandoned.

Police said that the man never filed a complaint with them, but in light of the recent violence between Greek Cypriots and migrants living in Chlorakas, police decided to open the case and examine the matter.

According to police, more testimony was received against the two individuals and arrest warrants were issued for them.

Chlorakas has become a hotbed over the past few days with violent clashes and attacks on migrants, as well as their businesses and cars.

Most people in the area said they are afraid following the rioting that occurred, which led to many migrants being targeted.

On Tuesday, Cyprus’ two largest political parties further condemned the violence in Chlorakas after a second night of clashes between Greek Cypriots and migrants, as Akel argued the government has a duty to ensure the safety of all residents in the Paphos village.

Sixteen people were remanded in police custody for eight days by Paphos district court on Tuesday following their involvement in the violent incidents seen in Chlorakas on Sunday and Monday two nights.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday authorities reported that a notorious apartment complex, where migrants were squatting, was full of mostly individuals that were legally allowed to be in the Republic of Cyprus.

Out of 221 people that had been recorded in the Ayios Nikolaos Apartment complex in Chlorakas, the civil registry and migration department said that 219 were legally residing in Cyprus.

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