A number of rejected asylum-seekers were forcibly removed to Syria. In a landmark ruling in a human trafficking-related case, Cyprus was found in violation of the rights to life and to protection from forced labour.
Negotiations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders continued during the year. Among the areas covered were governance and power-sharing, EU-related and economic matters and property issues. In November, both sides agreed to intensify their contacts. The UN Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus continued its work. By the end of December it had exhumed in total the remains of 767 people. Several racially motivated attacks were reported during the year.Top of page
In late May, around 250 Syrian Kurd protesters camped outside the “EU House” in Nicosia to protest against the authorities’ rejection of their asylum claims and to protest about residence rights. On 11 June, 143 of the protesters, including children, were reportedly arrested during an early morning police operation. Several of them were released immediately but, according to reports, 23 were forcibly removed to Syria that day. On 14 June, the European Court of Human Rights issued interim measures requesting that Cyprus suspend the removal of the 44 who were still in detention. Seven of these were then released, either because they had pending asylum applications or were stateless. According to reports, of those remaining, 32 were forcibly removed to Syria after the European Court lifted the interim measures in their cases in September. The remaining five continued to be detained in Cyprus. Seventeen of those forcibly removed were reportedly arrested and detained upon or after their arrival in Syria.Top of page
In March, the Authority against Racism and Discrimination recommended the legal recognition of cohabitation between same-sex couples.Top of page