Cyprus has demonstrated “firm resolve” to combat violence against women, according to a report produced by the Council of Europe’s expert group monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, GREVIO. This includes through strengthening its legal framework to criminalise different forms of violence against women and protect women from harassment, including stalking, as well as sexual and gendered online harassment. It also includes strengthening institutions. For example, the country has established investigative units to pursue cases of domestic violence. However, the report notes the absence of a referral centre to support victims of sexual violence, widespread prejudice in law enforcement leading to a lack of trust by victims, and challenges in ensuring gender-sensitive asylum determination procedures.
On 26 October politicians accused of involvement in a discredited citizenship-for-investment scheme appeared in Nicosia Criminal Court. The scheme was exposed by an Al Jazeera investigation in August 2020, which detailed a failure to enforce eligibility criteria leading to the sale of passports to criminals and the facilitation of the laundering of stolen assets. A subsequent public inquiry found that over 6,700 people had been granted citizenship through the scheme between 2007 and 2020, over half of which were found to have been unlawfully granted. The defendants on trial include former parliamentary speaker Demetris Syllouris, facing charges of corruption and bribery.