Last update : December 2016

Detention of asylum seekers is a very big problem in the Republic of Cyprus.

The main problem is that the Aliens and Immigration Law is objecting the Refugee Law, which states that detention is only applicable for identity verification and when the court has ordered so in 2nd instance rejection cases. Mostly the Aliens and Immigration Law is applied which allows to detain foreigners whenever they are considered irregular. Therefore you can be detained while entering the Republic of Cyprus before having applied for asylum. In such cases you have the right to apply for asylum orally towards the police. You are also in threat of being imprisonment after you have received your second rejection, even though if you appeal in front of the Supreme Court. Returnees from other European countries who are deported back to the Republic of Cyprus due to Dublin III-regulation are under threat of being arrested upon arrival.

The conditions of the detention centres are very different and arbitrary depending if you are arrested in the Detention Center of Undocumented Migrants of Menogia or in a small police station and depending on the police officers in charge. Although the Supreme Court has judged the detention of individuals to be illegal and ordered their release, often the relevant people have not been released and stayed in prison. While in theory there is a maximum imprisonment of 18 months, there have been reports about asylum seekers who have been detained for more then 22 months. Detainees in the Menogia detention center have been reporting about aggressive behaviour, psychological and physical violence from police officers. There have been several hunger strikes since 2015.