US State Department publishes Cyprus Report on Human Rights Practices for 2018

The US State Department has published its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, which include Cyprus.

The Cyprus report is divided into two parts, “Republic of Cyprus” and “Area administrated by Turkish Cypriots”.

In a reference considering both sections, it is stated that “since 1974 the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the TRNC, nor does any country other than Turkey”.

It is added that “a substantial number of Turkish troops remain on the island. A buffer zone, or Green Line, patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), separates the two sides”.

In the section regarding the Republic of Cyprus it is stated that “the Republic of Cyprus is a constitutional republic and multiparty presidential democracy. On February 4, voters re-elected President Nicos Anastasiades in free and fair elections. In 2016 voters elected 56 representatives to the 80-seat House of Representatives (Vouli Antiprosopon) in free and fair elections”.

It notes that civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces, while human rights issues included crimes involving violence against members of minority ethnic and national groups.

In addition, it says that the government investigated and prosecuted officials who committed human rights abuses.

Regarding the section on the Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots, it notes that “since 1974 the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the TRNC, nor does any country other than Turkey”.

“A substantial number of Turkish troops remain on the island. A buffer zone, or Green Line, patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), separates the two sides. This report is divided into two parts: the Republic of Cyprus and the Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots”.

It notes that “Mustafa Akinci was elected president in 2015 in free and fair elections. The TRNC constitution is the basis for the laws that govern the area administered by Turkish Cypriot authorities. Police and Turkish Cypriot security forces were ultimately under the operational command of the Turkish military, per transitional article 10 of the TRNC constitution, which cedes responsibility for public security and defense temporarily to Turkey”.

The report says that “authorities maintained effective control over the security forces and human rights issues included trafficking in persons and crimes involving violence against ethnic minority groups”.

“Authorities took steps to investigate police officials following press allegations of human rights abuses. There was evidence, however, of impunity”, it concludes.

The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 by Turkish troops. UN led talks to reunify the island have been unsuccessful.

Cyprus is a full EU member state since 2004.

Source: Cyprus News Agency