Ministry of Interior to proceed with immediate deportations of those involved in Pournara clashes, Nouris tells CNA

The Ministry of Interior intends to proceed with the immediate deportation of the people who took part in the violent incidents at the Pournara Reception Center, Minister of the Interior, Nicos Nouris, told CNA on Saturday, after paying a visit to the Center earlier today in order to examine the situation following clashes among asylum seekers on Friday. During the incidents, fire broke out in the camp, with many fleeing to the neighboring community of Kokkinotrimithia, but have since returned. The fire was extinguished by the fire brigade.


The Minister told CNA that the photos of 160 people in quarantine were given to the Police, after they were identified by the asylum service. “At the moment, an attempt is being made to identify them with the footage from the Center’s cameras, to see if and to what extent they are involved in the incidents”, he added and emphasized that those who will be identified will be detained by the police and the process for their immediate deportation will be launched.


“A message must be sent to those who cause these problems, because it is impossible to host them in a country under any circumstances, and be constantly called to resolve differences between various nationalities”, Nouris added.


He also mentioned that the row erupted after Nigerian and the Congolese nationals disagreed as to whose turn it was to charge their mobile phone. Asked whether this was an indication of the problems caused by the congestion of large numbers of people at the Centre, he said that this was the main cause of the problem.


During his visit, Nouris said that he was informed that the 15 or so tents that were burned by yesterday’s fire are being restored.


As for the Center, the Minister said that an evaluation of the measures taken in the area was carried out and said that efforts will be made to speed up the completion of the new fencing, a project with a cost of €1.2 million, which was scheduled to start in two – three weeks, creating a double fence in the Center’s perimeter. The project was scheduled to be completed in March, but after the latest developments, Nouris said that he will have contacts “with all the services involved, including the Auditor General of the Republic, to speed up the implementation of the project.”


Regarding the situation in the nearby community, Kokkinotrimithia, he said that it is clear that measures improving the conditions for locals are necessary, noting in particular that “police patrols need to intensify.”


Source: Cyprus News Agency