Last update : June 2023

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

If you are in prison or being held by the police in detention, you can apply for asylum at your place of detention.

Just being an asylum seeker is not reason to detain you.

If you are detained, insist on speaking to a lawyer, a relative or an NGO to tell them about your detention.

Detention is allowed in only a few cases:

• To determine your identity, or decide your case
• If the Police believes there is a high chance you will leave Cyprus
• In case the Dublin Regulation can be used

You cannot be detained if you are under 18.

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.

If you are returned from another European country to Cyprus, you will very likely be 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 than 22 months. Detainees in the Menogia detention center have been reporting about aggressive behavior, psychological and physical violence from police officers. There have been several hunger strikes since 2015.