Cyprus has deployed a large number of police officers and several fire brigades to stop and investigate a large number of irregularities in the run-up to the most important traditional festival holiday of the year, Cypriot media reported on May 2. For example, go out during curfews and release fireworks at will, especially when lighting trees, old tires and old furniture to make bonfires.
It is reported that within three days, 22 perpetrators have been arrested. They are between the ages of 15 and 22 and are mostly members of anarchic organizations. In addition, more than 2,000 firecrackers and more than 7,000 fireworks were confiscated. However, Cypriot police officers and firefighters have also been repeatedly attacked by firecrackers, stones and burning objects. On the evening of 1 May, two police officers who were disembarking were attacked with mixed alcohol incendiary bombs, resulting in the complete burning of police vehicles. Fortunately, the officers avoided the sudden fire in time. Another police car was badly damaged that night.
On 2 May, a Cyprus police association issued a strongly worded statement stating that superiors and government departments should pay attention to the enormous difficulties and risks faced by police officers and firefighters when they go out on duty. The statement also warned youth groups with anarchist stances that they should not sit back and watch the bloodshed of police officers and firefighters and take strong action before threats and injuries occur. According to reports, the Cyprus security team in response to the large number of young demonstrators, had used water cannons to disperse, leading the latter to constantly seek opportunities for retaliation.
Emily Yiolitis, Cyprus’s justice minister, later responded via social media. She noted that the tolerance and understanding shown by the police in implementing pandemic prevention measures “should not be interpreted as weakness”. “We will make every effort to effectively address the outbreak before us and all other asymmetric challenges,” she added.