By Cynthia Ngum – Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
As the rest of the world tries to eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination, Cyprus is not left out.
Police reports say young Cypriot men in Chlorakas, a village in the Paphos District of Cyprus, are taking the law into their own hands, apparently against members of the Syrian community.
Authorities have termed the act unlawful and racist, warning individuals concerned.
Paphos police spokesman, Michalis Ioannou said the areas have seen an increase in crime, particularly burglaries and theft, which is posing a ‘big problem’ police says.
A number of locals, mostly young Cypriot men, have mobilized into groups to ensure that ‘law and order’ was established in Chlorakas, Ioannou said.
The groups were stopping both cars and pedestrians in the area ’checking’ that they weren’t up to anything illegal, he said. Their targets are mostly Syrians.
“I have to stress that only the police are permitted to undertake such actions and these groups have no right to patrol or try to prevent crime, this is down to the police,” Ioannou furthered.
The murder of a Syrian man in Chlorakas on April 10 is the most violent in a number of incidents that are spreading concern among residents and has forced the community leader to appeal for state help.
Ioannou said that if anyone suspects or witnesses an incident or crime, they must immediately contact the police, who will take the necessary actions, and not attempt to take the law into their own hands.