NEWS

Cypriot says British officers raped her in 1956

TAGS: Cyprus, Justice

More allegations are piling up in an ongoing case in the UK against British forces, who are accused of torture and even rape during the Greek Cypriot insurgency between 1955 and 1959.

An elderly Cypriot woman, who was suspected of being an EOKA member when she was 15, says she was arrested in her home in 1956 and later tortured in the hands of British interrogators.

EOKA, a secret Greek Cypriot organisation fighting for independence and union with Greece, had people from all walks of life as members, ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, men and women, even priests, with British soldiers continuously rounding up people on intelligence or suspicion.

The woman is alleging in her court case that on the way to the police station she was driven to a forest area by British officers, beaten, and gang raped before being taken officially into custody.

According to a publication in The Mail on Sunday, the woman identified as Mrs XY, now in her 70’s, says she was raped before being taken down to the station, where she was “pushed between her tormentors like a ball” before passing out. Other kinds of torture included tying a noose around her neck.

Her lawyers from KJ Conroy & Co law firm are alleging that the colonial government breached the Convention on Human Rights and also failed to protect the rights of its own subjects.

The British Government is fighting the claim in the High Court from 33 elderly Greek Cypriots, 31 mean and 2 women, who allege they were tortured by British soldiers and security services when they were youngsters during the EOKA struggle.

The plaintiffs say the Red Cross archives contain eyewitness accounts from officials that support their claims of what British soldiers did to EOKA fighters and suspects, including teenagers.

They also say they were encouraged when the UK paid out nearly £20 million in costs and compensation to more than 5000 victims of colonial rule in Kenya during the Mau Mau revolt in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

At least some of the plaintiffs, many walking with the support of a cane, say the claim has nothing to do with money but a simple acknowledgment that they suffered in the hands of the British.

A Foreign Office statement recently said the UK government was dealing with an illegal insurgency prior to the 1960 declaration of independence.

“The UK government abhors all abuses of human rights. Much has happened in the past which we may regret today. We should keep in mind that these events did happen over half a century ago and bear no relation to the present government's policies towards Cyprus, which are well known."

The woman’s shocking allegations came after revelations back in April that senior British officers had seen evidence of beatings, torture, and murder by soldiers and covered it up.

One person had tried to speak out against the crimes, then-19-year-old Grenadier Guard Jamie Eykyn, now aged 79, who told his superior Major Michael Stourton who in turn alerted the authorities.

But the situation was very explosive, especially by 1958 following many assassinations of British soldiers.

Security officers were in complete control by employing illegal methods, including beatings, water boarding, and rape, according to the Greek Cypriot claims.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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