Members of the public launched a petition calling for an end to racial discrimination against Cyprus’ migrant community, it emerged on Thursday.

“No one should live in fear because they sought refuge or better opportunities abroad,” the petition said.

The development comes after a 23-year-old man from Bangladesh died after he jumped out of his Limassol fifth-floor apartment.

He was trying to escape a 6:20am police raid on illegal migrants.

Another 22-year-old who lived with him and tried to escape in a similar way is in serious condition at the city’s general hospital, with fractures across his body.

“A man tragically lost his life, jumping from the fifth floor of his building to escape an immigration raid. He was not a criminal; he was merely seeking safety. Yet, due to the policies of the government and actions of the police, he died,” the petition said.

In total, 11 men from Bangladesh were living in an old apartment in Limassol’s city centre. The building was described as dangerous.

The men were found to be living in Cyprus illegally.

“In Cyprus today, immigrants are subjected to racial prejudice by both law enforcement agencies and governmental bodies. There have been numerous instances where people have been abducted daily with houses being raided unlawfully.

“This is happening while funds continue flowing into Cyprus from the European Union – funds that should be used for integration efforts rather than fostering division.”

The petition called for respect to every individual regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

On Wednesday, police said no search warrant is required to carry out a raid aimed at checking whether people are living in Cyprus legally or not. They likened it to the process for census counts.

The Honourary Consulate of Bangladesh described the man’s death as tragic, and a terrible way to die.