Cyprus |

Bangladeshi Citizens report abuse in police hands

April 14, 2024
Police on Saturday denied allegations of mistreatment of citizens of Bangladesh, following mounting condemnation of the manner in which they conducted the raid in Limassol that resulted in Anisur Rahman's murder. During a demonstration, a text message purportedly from one of the eleven Bangladeshi nationals residing in the fifth-floor flat of a sketchy building in Limassol's city centre was read in front of the CID offices. It claims officers abused and attacked the Bangladeshi nationals during the raid. “We were all sleeping when some strangers came to our flat and broke the door and entered. Then some of us woke up. “When we heard the sound of a breaking the door, we were very scared. They said they were from immigration police but we couldn’t identify them because they were in civilian clothes.” The text message continues saying the officers entered the room and attacked them. “They raised their hands on John and abused us in their language. “They first entered one bedroom and arrested three people. Then the second bedroom was locked, they again broke the door and tried to enter.” What was our crime? Why did they treat us like this? And why did we have to lose one brother’s life? “We came to their country and did not fight or do anything bad.” The testimony is diametrically opposed to the version police has been reiterating since Wednesday when Rahman died. Police has stressed two officers knocked on the door and received consent before stepping in to the apartment. Rahman, 23, jumped out of the fifth-floor apartment window to his death. Another man, aged 22, jumped out of the balcony to escape. He is in serious condition in hospital. Criticism began emerging on Friday, amid allegations that up to 15 officers barged in and broke down the door. A complaint has been filed to the independent authority investigating police officers. On Saturday night, the force issued a statement saying that none of the police statements made by any of the Bangladeshi nationals “make any claims about violating any apartment entrance or allegations of violence.” It reiterated that only two officers went to the raid. The veracity of the police statements made by any of the Bangladeshi nationals have already been called into questions amid allegations the men have had no access to a lawyer. Speaking to the Cyprus Mail a day earlier, lawyer Michalis Paraskevas said every person – whether they are living in Cyprus legally or illegally – has a right to a lawyer. People close to the Bangladeshi nationals said they have had no access to any lawyer, while two are reportedly held in Larnaca and are slated to be deported. Police did not address any of these allegations in its statement. It has said all of the detained men were living in Cyprus illegally. No updates were given over the landlord who reportedly rented out the apartment for €2,000. “Any person who has any different testimony regarding the specific incident, to contact immediately the CID Headquarters on the phone number 22-808094 or the Citizen’s Line, on the phone number 1460.”

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