Mum of Derbyshire rape 'victim' urges boycott of Cyprus

The mum of a Derbyshire teenager convicted of lying about being gang raped at a hotel in Cyprus has urged tourists to boycott the country.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 10:46 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 12:03 pm

The woman, who your Times has decided not to name to protect her 19-year-old daughter, believes the party resort of Ayia Napa is unsafe.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “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.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Derbyshire teenager accused of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, covers her face as she arrives for her trial at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus, on December 30, 2019.
The Derbyshire teenager accused of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, covers her face as she arrives for her trial at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus, on December 30, 2019.

Following her interview, the hashtag #BoycottCyprus began trending on Twitter.

The teenager claimed she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in Ayia Napa on July 17.

The youths and men, aged 15 to 20, were arrested by Cypriot police.

However, they were released after the teen signed a retraction statement 10 days later, although her lawyers say it was signed under duress following hours of questioning by police without family or lawyers present.

The Derbyshire teenager convicted of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, covers her face as she leaves after the verdict at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus, flanked by supporters, on December 30, 2019.

This week, she was convicted of “public mischief” at a Cypriot court, with Judge Michalis Papathanasiou saying she did not tell the truth and tried to deceive the court with "convenient" and "evasive" statements.

Sentencing was adjourned until January 7, when the teen could face a year in jail and a fine of up to £1,500.

The teenager has been stranded in Cyprus since August when she was arrested in August and had her passport confiscated.

Her mum said her daughter is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Women's rights activists stage a protest in support of a British teenager accused of falsely claiming she was raped by Israeli tourists, during her trial at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus, on December 30, 2019.

She said: "She needs to get back to the UK to get that treated - that's my absolute primary focus.”

A crowdfunding appeal to raise money for legal support for the teenager has passed £115,000.

The help teen victim get justice in Cyprus GoFundMe page was set up to raise cash for the 19-year-old's legal representation.

The Foreign Office said the UK was "seriously concerned" about the fairness of the woman's trial and it is understood officials have raised the "deeply distressing case" with the Cypriot authorities.

However, the government of Cyprus has said it has "full confidence in the justice system and the courts".