NEWS

Cyprus politician accused of racism in the wake of sibling murder

TAGS: Cyprus, Crime, Society

A Cypriot MP candidate found herself in the hot seat on Wednesday for comments she made on social media where she appeared to link a horrific sibling murder in Larnaca to multiculturalism.

ELAM party member and MP candidate Maria Kalogeri has drawn criticism on a public Facebook page after she posted a comment in the wake of the Larnaca murder of a young girl who was killed by her 13-year-old brother. On Tuesday, around 5 p.m., a man from Romania entered his family residence in Agios Ioannis, in the old part of town in Larnaca, only to discover his 9-year-old girl in a pool of blood.

The girl had been stabbed multiple times by what turned out to be her own brother, described as a problem child aged 13. Reports said the girl was heard screaming for help but nobody rushed to her aid until her father returned home and started screaming for help.

“A Gypsy Roma stabbed his underage sister to death. You wanted to have multiculturalism, now you can be drenched in it,” Kalogeri wrote.

Her Facebook post sparked dozens of comments and was shared a number of times before page administrators decided to shut down the comments section. Some of the comments on the public group page accused the MP candidate of being racist, with many challenging Kalogeri on her specific positions.

The majority of responses were critical of Kalogeri, pointing out that linking the victim family’s ethnicity with the horrific crime was dangerous and unfortunate. Others pointed out that several crimes of similar nature were carried out by locals while others said the family was in need of help unrelated to their ethnic or national origins.

Kalogeri, who is known for airing her views on the specific group page, said people could express themselves any way they wish in a democracy, adding that each person ought to offer their own self-critique.
Authorities have also drawn criticism, with many social media users including Kalogeri pointing out the lack of social delinquency programmes and facilities for young offenders.

The boy, who could not be arrested due to his young age, was taken to a mental hospital where he was placed in a form of detention while undergoing psychological evaluations. [Kathimerini Cyprus]

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