/Cyprus faces boycott tourism campaign after rape case

Cyprus faces boycott tourism campaign after rape case

Published on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A campaign urging tourists to boycott Cyprus following the public nuisance conviction of a British woman who retracted a gang rape claim is gathering pace.

A #BoycottCyprus hashtag started on Twitter in response to the guilty verdict on Monday.

The woman’s mother has backed the campaign, adding that she believes Ayia Napa, where her daughter was staying when the alleged attack happened, is unsafe.

The 19-year-old from Derbyshire was convicted on Monday of public mischief because she retracted her statement 10 days after she reported the alleged rape in July.

She had gone to the police to claim she had been raped by 12 Israeli men in Ayia Napa where she was working for the summer season.

The woman claimed she had been forced to withdraw her statement after hours of questioning without access to a lawyer.

After she retracted her statement, the Israeli men returned home and she was charged with a public nuisance offence.

Supporters say the judge in Monday’s court case did not hear any evidence about whether the alleged rape took place.

Describing Ayia Napa, the mother told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The place isn’t safe – it is absolutely not safe. And if you go and report something that’s happened to you, you’re either laughed at, as far as I can tell, or, in the worst case, something like what’s happened to my daughter may happen.”

The woman, who is said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, will be sentenced on January 7 and faces up to 12 months in jail. Her supporters plan to appeal the case, but say the process could take years.

After Monday’s court decision, the UK Foreign Office said it would raise the issue with the Cypriot authorities. The FCO described it as ‘deeply distressing’.

A GoFundMe page has raised over £80,000 to pay for legal costs.

See also: British teen pleads not guilty to making false gang-rape claim in Ayia Napa

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

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