Greek Cypriot police spokesman speaks his mind

old Nicosia

old Nicosia

Today’s Cyprus Mail describes a Greek Cypriot police raid in old Nicosia in search of illegal migrants. Whilst this would seem to be a fair, taking in 150 people “for identification” seems strange as eventually only 48 arrests were made. The raid was criticised by the Greek Cypriot Ombudswoman in her capacity as the Authority against Racism and Discrimination. When Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos was asked to comment on claims that the Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis’ had stated that no such operation will ever be repeated again and that he hadn’t been informed about it beforehand, Katsounotos said “the police don’t need permission from anybody to impose order.”

So far, fair enough, the man is doing his job, but I think he then took that one extra step which makes this incident newsworthy – this is what he is quoted as saying:

“Revulsion is expressed over hideous crimes and atrocities; unless a well-aimed operation by the police to implement law and impose order is considered a hideous crime,” added Katsounotos. “Invasion, with all due respect, is something we experienced only in 1974 by the Turkish occupying forces. Unless 25 justified court search warrants and 21 justified arrest warrants issued in a bid to investigate crime are considered an invasion.”

POLICE yesterday went on the defensive, after being criticised by the Ombudswoman for last Friday’s sweep operation against migrants in old Nicosia.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos was asked to comment on Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis’ claims that no such operation will ever be repeated again and that he hadn’t been informed about it beforehand.

“The police don’t need permission from anybody to impose order,” said Katsounotos.

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