The government was given until the beginning of 2026 to open a juvenile detention centre by the House legal affairs committee on Wednesday.

Committee chairman Nikos Tornaritis said the plans to create a new centre have “not been satisfied to date,” and that as a result, young offenders will continue to be held in a separate area of the central prison until the end of 2025.

“For this reason, with regret… parliament will proceed to extend the legislation for another two years until the point at which a place is found to keep incarcerated minors,” he said.

He also spoke on the matter of the central prison, saying “the time has come for the state to seriously consider moving and relocating the central prison to a place which is not adjacent to residential areas.”

He added that the government should “build modern facilities”.

“Prison facilities are antiquated, they are historic, and obviously they can be used for many other purposes, but not as prisons,” he said.

He said the prison’s capacity is supposed to be 545 people, but that at present it houses a total of 1,100 inmates.

“This in itself exposes the Republic of Cyprus internationally and most definitely violates basic human rights,” he said, adding “we must know very well that prisoners also have human rights.”

He also spoke on the matter of building new District courts in Nicosia and said he had spoken with Public Works Minister Alexis Vafeades on the matter.

“We exchanged views, and the government also agrees. This is positive. Things should proceed immediately,” he said.