Δελτία Τύπου/Ανακοινώσεις - Announcement by the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights regarding a video that was posted online and has content that is offensive to third parties – date: Sunday 6/10/2019


Announcement by the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights regarding a video that was posted online and has content that is offensive to third parties – date: Sunday 6/10/2019




Announcement by the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights regarding a video that was posted online and has content that is offensive to third parties – date: Sunday 6/10/2019


The video was recorded in parking lot in the city of a Larnaca and it involves three Cypriot women and a Russian woman who lives permanently in Cyprus. The video was recorded by the Russian woman and shows two of the Cypriot women present, racially assaulting her and calling her derogatory names. The video also shows that a young boy was present and witnessed the altercation.

The Video was uploaded online by the victim of the attack and, by the evening of October 6th 2019, it had gone “viral” in Cyprus.

On the same day, the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights (Ombudsman), Ms. Maria Stylianou-Lottides, made a public statement about the incident, in which she stated the following:

«On Sunday 6 October, the Cyprus social media community, as well as online media, were flooded with information about a video containing verbal abuse/slurs against a person of different ethnic background.

The authenticity of the audiovisual material has not yet been disputed by anyone. On the contrary its authenticity is reinforced by the fact that the person who uploaded it to her personal Facebook account, admitted that she herself had recorded the video and intentionally uploaded it.

The purpose of this intervention is not to address the various legal issues that may stem/arise from the incident regarding the protection of the personal and private life of the people involved or the protection of the minor present at the incident from various dangers. The purpose of this intervention is confined to commenting on the content of the video in question, which raised, to anyone who watched it, sentiments of shame and claims for the respect of human dignity.

The reason for the assault, its intensity, but also the gestures of the perpetrators, can only lead to the conclusion that the hostility directed against the victim was based on her ethnic origin characteristics.

The verbal assault/slurs and the belittlement/disparagement of the victim, is of such an extent and intensity, that the incident can only be considered as racist. Furthermore, in case the behavior is repeated, copied or imitated, it can potentially incite third parties to violent acts.

It is regrettable that in democratic societies there are behaviors which stigmatize people and reproduce stereotypes and prejudices based on specific characteristics, that each one of us may have.

Such behaviors, unfortunately, inhibit or delay our ability to cultivate through education a culture of acceptance and respect for diversity.

That is why the presence of a minor at the incident is important. He has witnessed hostile behavior and verbal abuse which compromised the dignity and reputation of another person, on the basis of her different ethnic background.

Every child is both the present and the future of our societies, so adults have a duty to provide a positive example.

During the incident, a child witnessed the lack of respect towards a fellow human being, because of the physical characteristics that distinguish her.

The incident resulted in striking our present and wounding our future. The reversal of these effects is an obligation for us all.