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The RoC's Human Rights Abuses portfolio

Benefits and problems from the EU membership.

The RoC's Human Rights Abuses portfolio

Postby JimB » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:45 pm

Driver goes to court for using mobile phone
By Patrick Dewhurst

A NICOSIA man took on the police yesterday on an issue of principle by pleading not guilty to using his mobile phone while driving, rather than pay €100 euro fine just to make the case go away.

The alleged offence took place over two years ago, in September 2007, and has only now reached the courts. If the accused man is found guilty in court, he could face a €1,000 fine when he returns to court on October 10.

The man, a British Cypriot, who wished to withhold his name so as not to jeopardise his trial, told the Cyprus Mail "I was pulled over as I was driving into Paphos Gate police station to report a stolen motorbike, I’m hardly going to drive into a police station on my phone am I?"

“I have been driving since 1987 and have a clean licence.” He added.

The policewoman who pulled him over insisted he was using his phone and issued a CYP£60 fine on the spot. He denied the allegation, and invited her check his phone's call log to show he was not using it. However the policewoman declined the offer.

The man explained the possible source of a misunderstanding, but was not let off. A two-year wait then followed, before the courts addressed his case.

Throughout the last two years he has maintained that, far from speaking on his phone, he has a skin condition which causes him to scratch his head. This is what he was doing this when he was pulled over, and that his phone was in a bag.

It is possible to trace phone records to confirm no call took place.

But while it is simple to obtain outgoing call records, incoming calls require a longer and more bureaucratic process. "I will contact my phone provider, but the problem is that even this won't prove I am innocent." The policewoman could simply counter that he had dialled but failed to connect a call, or that he was listening to a stored voicemail.

In the end the case is therefore likely to come down to a citizen's word against a policewoman's.


If the above report is to be taken on face value then there is evidence here of a serious breach of human rights and several common law principles.

Article 6 of the ECHR provides the right to a fair trial. This includes the provision that this should take place within a reasonable time.

Whilst a member state may lodge a derogation from some of the ECHR's statutes (already been done by UK, France, USA and various others for cases involving terrorism and / or national security) a moving traffic violation could hardly be placed in the same league.

This used to be determined by reference to the common law principles commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. Many jurisdictions have now gone further than this and actively mandated a maximum time limit for charging and prosecutions for various classes of crime. The majority of EU states (and the UK) adhere to the premise that a summary (non imprison able) offence should be charged within 30 days and taken to trial before 6 months for minor offences. Many courts and jurisdictions reduce these limits even further to avoid being accused of causing undue stress and hardship on the accused.

Two years for a relatively minor offence (if one did in fact take place) is unacceptable and could, in itself, amount to a cruel and unusual punishment under the circumstances.

:wink:
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Postby Get Real! » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:16 pm

You'll have to do better than that Jimbo... :lol:
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Postby JimB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:58 am

Get Real! wrote:You'll have to do better than that Jimbo... :lol:


No no no no no - you don't get off that lightly old bean. Your going to have to expand and elucidate!

Even you've got to admit that this poor chap shouldn't have had to wait for two years for his day at court.

When you take into account that he was a victim of crime (allegedly) and asking for police help when he was stuck on it's just perverse ....
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Postby JimB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Try this one out ....

Demo against police “Operation Broom”

A demonstration will take place today against Nicosia police’s “Operation Broom”, the sweep operation targeting migrants which was carried out on 25 September in Nicosia’s old town.

The march is being jointly organised by migrant support group KISA, human and democratic group rights ALERT and other human rights and migrant organisations. It will start at 11.00am from Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square and will end at Phaneromeni Square.

“Operation Broom”, which saw 257 policemen encircle the old town and carry out raids in migrant houses in the early hours of the morning, received heavy criticism from various quarters, including Ombudswoman Iliana Nicolaou, in her capacity as head of the Authority against Racism and Discrimination.

Critics condemned the police’s heavy-handed tactics and apparent lack of firm suspicions to justify the arrest of 150 migrants, who were handcuffed and paraded in front of TV cameras before being taken to police stations for identification.

KISA executive director Doros Polycarpou said that such police operations are “illegal and do not respect people’s dignity”. He added that the march is also a protest against the problems being faced by migrants in terms of housing and integration, and is a wake-up call for those in positions of responsibility to take on the task of solving those problems.
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Postby zan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:37 pm

I don;t know why the Brit think they are going to get a fair deal in the "RoC".... :roll:

What happened to the stolen bike???Is it part of the mounted police force now... :lol: :lol:
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Postby Get Real! » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:50 pm

JimB wrote:Try this one out ....

Demo against police “Operation Broom”

Ever heard of disturbing the peace and causing grievous bodily harm? That’s why they were raided! On two occasions they had ethnic/religious/whatever brawls throwing bottles, sticks, stones, and God knows what else at each other causing damage to themselves, buildings, and cars!

The Cyprus police did a brilliant job protecting the Human Rights of the neighborhood and in the process cleaning up illegal immigrants! 8)
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Postby JimB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:06 pm

Get Real! wrote:
JimB wrote:Try this one out ....

Demo against police “Operation Broom”

Ever heard of disturbing the peace and causing grievous bodily harm? That’s why they were raided! On two occasions they had ethnic/religious/whatever brawls throwing bottles, sticks, stones, and God knows what else at each other causing damage to themselves, buildings, and cars!

The Cyprus police did a brilliant job protecting the Human Rights of the neighborhood and in the process cleaning up illegal immigrants! 8)




Sort of depends on who you read - the Cyprus Mail seem to have been uncharacteristically lenient on the authorities (makes a change). The Financial Mirror however, has a rather different view on the arrests.

http://www.financialmirror.com/Columnist/COMMENT/505


Cyprus Editorial: And then they tell us we’re racists…

October 02, 2009 - Financial Mirror


Last Friday’s sweeping operation by the police to rid the centre of Nicosia of the growing number of illegal immigrants raised a lot of issues that need to be addressed by society and the state alike, primarily the absence of communication between public services and the lack of a spherical approach to the whole problem.

First and foremost was the bizarre reality whereby the responsible public official was not aware that such an operation was underway, while local TV stations were diligently informed. Obviously, in the eyes of the police, the state broadcaster has more value than the Minister of Interior, the guy in charge of processing foreign workers and illegal immigrants, and subsequently asking the EU for more aid to control our borders and cut down on human trafficking.

The Ombudsman too condemned the way the mostly Asian workers were herded into police vans to be processed, denied a phone call or the right to speak, whereas an on-the-spot check by Immigration officers should have determined whether residency papers and work permits were legit.

In some cases, those who had the proper documentation had been ignored and simply because of their dark skin or obviously Asian features, were automatically branded as “illegals”, only to be released several hours later after being allowed their sacred phone call and subsequent embarrassment. But this came at the cost of unwarranted suffering at police stations and other detention centres of people, most of whom we need to do our casual and dirty work.

A televised debate two weeks also raised a parallel problem, that inner-city accommodation was rented to these “illegals” or low-cost Asian workers by Cypriot landlords (who often do not properly maintain their buildings), and that Cypriot owners of unsafe cars sell their vehicles to unknowing foreign workers who in turn cannot get insurance because of the state of the car.
Naïve comments by MPs and other public officials who try to compare the revival of the inner part of Limassol with the old town of Nicosia, also showed how ignorant society could be. Despite the success of attracting new business and youths to Limassol centre with the hosting of the Technical University (TEPAK), the same cannot replicated in the capital because of the proximity to the Green Line and the reluctance of ‘locals’ to live in such areas. Hence, the need for new tenants, who admittedly have brought some life back to the city centre.

The individual attempts by far-thinking businesspeople to repair and revive some commercial ventures in the old part of town are sadly unrecognized by the state and the municipality does not have the power to give more (financial or other incentives) to attract more and turn the old part of town into a multi-ethnic, multicultural phenomenon.
On the other hand, the lack of regular foot patrols by police in areas which are hastily labeled as “danger zones” does not inspire a sense of safety among the local or those wishing to invest and move in.
Perhaps more frequent policing and more care from public officials and NGOs would produce better results than scare-mongering images on TV of frequent raids, that may on the one hand frighten the illegals, but also cause greater damage to the image of tolerance that Cypriots once used to be proud of.
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