Chlorakas housing complex under private surveillance

1 min read

The Ayios Nikolaos housing complex at the centre of recent violent outbreaks between Syrian refugees and extreme right-wing groups in Chlorakas, Paphos, is under 24/7 surveillance.

Local authorities and a debt-acquiring company with a claim on the estate have hired private security to prevent migrants from returning after authorities closed down the complex.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, the head of the Paphos Police Department, Michalis Nicolaou, confirmed the news, adding the force has been present in large numbers following the recent violent events.

Nicolaou said police will maintain its presence in the area to keep the peace.

He said the Department of Public Works has been busy sealing off the entrances of the apartment buildings with the installation of construction grids, which is expected to be completed within days.

Although the police have carried out the instructions regarding the evacuation of the apartment complex, they are on the alert to prevent anyone from returning.

Officers have stepped up patrols and traffic checks, reporting 30 offending motorists.

Regarding the violent clashes at the end of August, at least 26 people, including Greek Cypriots, Syrians, and a Greek national, have been arrested.

The violence unfolded after hundreds of Syrian and African migrants residing in a housing complex in the village were left without water and electricity as authorities moved to impose a decree to shut down the apartments.

Immigrants took to the streets to demonstrate, only to be met by locals and people from nearby villages counter-demonstrating, calling for an end to irregular migration.

They chanted slogans such as “foreigners out”.

Participants broke into smaller groups and engaged in attacks on the homes of migrant families.

Footage of people wearing hoods damaged properties and vehicles belonging to non-Cypriots made the rounds on social and mainstream media.

More violent incidents followed some days later in Limassol, where far-right protestors attacked people they believed to be migrants, including Cypriot nationals and tourists.

Following the events in Chlorakas, the government launched an operation to record migrants living at the disused residency complex at the centre of the dispute.

The government decided to shut down the complex and move migrants to a Kofinou, Limassol facility based on a decree issued by the Paphos district officer.

According to the decree, the Ayios Nikolaos complex should have been closed for health and safety reasons in 2021.