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Chlorakas apartment building owner says sheltering the poor got him arrested

chlorakas complex 2 960x467
The troubled Ayios Nikolaos apartment complex in Chlorakas

The owner of the condemned apartment building in Chlorakas, from where dozens of migrants and refugees were evicted last month, on Friday said they were only trying to shelter the needy.

Alpha Panareti company, which owns the notorious apartment building, broke its silence on Friday by issuing statement commenting on the recent events and decision to accommodate political refugees.

The company, through its representative Neophytos Neophytou said “my only sin is that I provided shelter for the poor, homeless, and refugees, and from that moment on, a relentless ordeal began against me.”

He said he has sent letters on behalf of the company to the president, police chief, House president and the Attorney General, but he has not received any reply.

Neophytou claimed that it is for this reason the authorities were trying to “get back at him” and proceeded with five “illegal arrests” and detained him five times overnight”.

He added that the institution of justice “is functioning” and that the Supreme Court dismissed the illegal detentions through the certiorari method.

Police have filed 45 criminal actions against him and after the Supreme Court dismissed the five illegal detentions, the criminal actions have been withdrawn by the Attorney General, he noted.

After this ordeal, but also “much more”, he said he is now forced to expel from his own apartments anyone who is a political refugee, homeless or poor.

As of September 15, Neophytou said he has instructed his employees to return the political refugees’ checks to the Social Welfare office. He emphasised that he will not tolerate finding any checks in his mailbox from anyone.

He also notes that apart from the 25 apartments, he has vacant rentals without renewal, and he has no intention of renewing any others, not even in the areas of Tremithousa and Emba.

He calls upon the community leaders of Tremithousa and Emba to assist him “through legal means and not with masks.”

Neophytou also extended his apologies to the residents of the communities of Emba and Tremithousa, as many refugees who used to reside in Chloraka relocated there after the evacuation. He said others now reside in different neighbouring villages of Paphos like Kissonerga and Lemba.

For these matters, Neophytou has also sent a relevant letter to the Director of Social Welfare Services.

The so-called relocation operation of migrants and political refugees from the Chlorakas apartment complex was carried out late last month following protests from locals. Greek Cypriot residents of the area cited safety concerns and repeatedly called on authorities to kick out the third-country nationals form their community.

After the government decided to move the migrants, the anti-migrant protests escalated, leading to targeted attacks and the destruction of migrant-run businesses in the village. Against this backdrop, a violent far-right anti-migrant protest also took place in Limassol earlier this month.

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