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UN criticizes Greek Cypriot administration over asylum policy

Sunday, May 25, 2014 / http://www.turkishpress.com/news/408235/ or http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/137191/un-criticizes-greek-cypriot-administration-over-asylum-policy

GENEVA – The UN Committee Against Torture has criticized the Greek Cypriot administration over its practices regarding deportation of asylum seekers and detention conditions.

The committee revealed its observations on the country’s latest human rights situation concerning torture and other cruel treatments during a press conference Friday at the UN Office in Geneva.

„The committee is highly concerned (…) by reports indicating that asylum seekers have been reportedly deported to their countries of origin despite serious risks of torture or religious persecution,“ the report said.

It urged the Greek Cypriot administration to ensure that asylum requests are carefully examined and to allow sufficient time for asylum seekers to thoroughly explain their reasons for application.

The committee also raised concerns that Turkish Cypriot prisoners detained in the Greek Cypriot side are not allowed to receive visits from their families and friends.

The Greek Cypriot administration should give „all reasonable facilities to all detainees for receiving visits from their family and friends, in accordance with international standards,“ the committee said.

„The committee remains concerned at the high rate of deaths in custody, especially suicides, as well as the incidents of inter-prisoner violence, including gang rape, with the connivance of prison guards,“ it added.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the northern third and a Greek Cypriot one in the southern two-thirds since a peace operation launched by Turkey in 1974 in response to a military coup in the island backed by the junta then ruling Greece.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized solely by Turkey, whereas the Greek Cypriot administration is an EU member and recognized internationally.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency

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