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State Department report: Many reports of government corruption in the KD but… also enforcement of the law

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    Without significant changes human rights in Cyprus, says US report for 2023 – Many reports of government corruption in the Republic of Cyprus – “The government generally implemented the law effectively” – Serious restrictions on freedom of expression in the occupied territories

    There were no significant changes in terms of the human rights situation in the Republic of Cyprus in 2023, reports annual report of the United States Department of State on the state of human rights in the world.

    The report is part of a series of reports on 198 countries and regions for the year 2023 published annually. The Cyprus Report also covers the occupied territories.

    Republic of Cyprus

    The Cyprus Report begins by emphasizing that the government of the Republic of Cyprus is the only international recognized government on the island, “but since 1974 the northern third of Cyprus has been administered by Turkish Cypriots”, as stated in the occupied.

    “This area declared itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in 1983. The United States does not recognize the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. Turkey is the only country that recognizes it”.

    “A significant number of Turkish troops remain on the island. A neutral zone, or “Green Line”, patrolled by a UN peacekeeping force, separates the two areas. This report covers developments in both communities“.

    The Report notes that “there were no significant changes in the human rights situation in the Republic of Cyprus or in the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots during the year”.

    It said that significant human rights issues in the Republic of Cyprus included “credible reports of substantial interference with the freedom of association of non-governmental organizations, refoulement of asylum seekers to a country where they would face torture or persecution, and crimes involving violence or threats of violence aimed at members of national or ethnic minority groups, including foreign asylum seekers”.

    It is noted that the government of the Cyprus Republic took measures to locate and the punishment of officials who may have committed human rights violations, although there were limited cases of impunity, he said.

    The laws of the Republic, it added, provided for freedom of expression, including the press and other media, and the government generally respected that right. An independent media, an effective judiciary and a functioning democratic political system together promote freedom of expression, including for members of the media, it said.

    In addition, it is noted that the law and the Constitution of the Republic provided citizens with the opportunity to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.

    As regards the corruption, it is noted that the laws of the Republic of Cyprus provided for criminal penalties for corruption by officials and the government generally implemented the law effectively. There were many references for government corruption, it added.

    Additionally, local and international human rights groups in the Republic are reported to have generally operated without government restrictions to monitor or investigate human rights conditions or cases and publish findings their. NGOs reported that government officials were somewhat cooperative and responsive to their views, it added.

    Turkish Cypriots

    The report also refers to the “Turkish Cypriot-administered area”, noting that significant human rights issues includeharsh and life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary or unlawful interference

    strong> to confidentiality of privacy, severe restrictions to freedom of expression and freedom of media,including violence or threats of violence against journalists, and the enforcement or threat of enforcement of criminal laws on defamation to restrict expression.

    In addition, it refers to substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and association, including non-governmental organizations, restrictions on free movement and residence within the territory of a “state” and the right to exit from Turkish Cypriot-administered territory, < strong>refoulement of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they would face torture or persecution, serious “government” corruption, crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of national or ethnic minorities, including foreign asylum seekers, and trafficking in persons; including forced labour.

    The report also states that “authorities” in the Turkish Cypriot-administered region have taken limited credible steps to identify and punish “officials” who may have committed human rights violations rights. There was evidence, however, of widespread impunity, he concludes. which focused on human rights abuses in Russia, Sudan, China, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Afghanistan and Cuba.

    The State Department cites Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the civil war in Sudan and the Israel-Hamas war as some of the major global events of human rights concern.

    The report, as every year, is divided into country chapters.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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