Robin’s Snippets – 5/6/2011

Complaints against the boys in blue?

It may not come as surprise to many of you, but there are allegations of police brutality and torture in police stations in the TRNC. According to reports coming fron the House of Deputies these allegations are to be investigated by a parliamentary committee.

The decision to investigate came after the leader of Communal Democracy Party, Mr. Mehmet Cakici, presented deputies with documentary evidence (including photos) of two recent cases of torture that allegedly took place in police stations in the north. It is reportedly the first time that the Turkish Cypriot police, who are under the direct command of the Turkish military, have faced any external investigation.

In Parliament yesterday, Cakici told deputies of a recent case where a US citizen was taken in by police for questioning after being accused of larceny. The US Ambassador Mr Frank C. Urbancic Jr. is reported to have put pressure on the politicians in the TRNC after the case became an issue with the consulate.

In custody, the suspect was said to have received severe beatings from police to his arms, back, legs and buttocks. Photographs of the sustained injuries, which Cakici presented to his fellow deputies, taken by an official from the American Embassy had also been passed on to the victim’s family. In a second case, a Turkish man wrongly accused of paedophilia suffered severe injuries when police allegedly rammed a truncheon into his anus. The victim has subsequently had to have a colostomy.

Other incidences of police malpractice, such as not allowing suspects access to a lawyer, were rife, according to Cakici. He did not mention countless complaints of preferential treatment and the relatively random application of the law.

“The police cannot be left to investigate themselves; we need an independent body that can do this,” he said, adding that currently “there is nowhere to turn if you have a complaint to make”.

So if you don’t like the service,”tough!”

The investigation is said to have widespread cross party support. Even Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk called on his National Unity Party (UBP) members to back Cakici’s proposal. In his address he said the issue was a “humanitarian” one, and that allegations of torture, along with other problems such as human trafficking and prostitution, were “giving the country a bad name”.

Comment: they don’t need much help on that front.

Editor: It’s a problem throughout Cyprus – see http://www.cyprus-mail.com/police-brutality/petition-against-police-brutality/20110604

GUN LAW begins to Rule???

Only days after the attempted bomb attack on the car of Cetin A, a new case of apparent self justice reaches the courts in Girne. Fuat Yasin Yilmaz was charged with GBH and unlawful wounding. His victim was shot with a 7.62mm Pistol which was found on the accused who confessed to the shooting. His victim was wounded in the legs and foot. How many more cases of gun law does the country have to see before the authorities realise that the law offers little or no protection against fraud?

Not quite financial meltdown

Fitch Ratings yesterday placed Bank of Cyprus (BoC) on negative watch and downgraded Marfin Popular Bank’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating to BBB- from BBB. Placing its individual rating on negative watch the agency cited their exposure to Greece.

The Hellenic Bank’s BBB- rating was also affirmed.

Fitch said the ratings indicate the agency’s expectation of further pressure on the banks’ credit risk profiles, profitability and capital due to the challenging operating environment in Greece. It is understood the property situation in the republic also could play a significant role in the fortunes of the banking industry there.

The announcement came a day after Fitch cut Cyprus’s total sovereign rating by three notches to A-,

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