OPINION

September 20, 1956

EXECUTION OF GREEK-CYPRIOT PATRIOTS: Nicosia, 21 – Three Greek-Cypriot patriots – Stefanos Mavromatis, Andreas Panagidis and Michail Koutsoftis – were hanged today by the British authorities in the town’s main prison. It was announced to the press that the executions took place shortly before 1 a.m. The announcement was made by a police officer who came out of the prison. According to another source, the executions began shortly after 1 a.m. local time and ended before 2 a.m. About an hour passed between the time the Cypriots left their cells and the time they were executed. Three dull sounds were heard outside the prison when the trapdoors dropped under the prisoners’ feet. The Greek priest who gave the three men their last communion at about midnight will attend the cremation of the three bodies, according to a prison announcement. (…) Previously a general strike had been declared in Cyprus to protest plans for the judicial murder of the the youths. Many thousands of Cypriot workers walked off the job at the British military installations in Episkopi and Akrotiri. Meanwhile, on the night before the executions, patriotic songs could be heard coming from within the prison walls.