Published on February 11th, 2015 | by Aspasia Efstathiou0
Why asylum seekers don’t want to seek protection in Cyprus
The Cypriot authorities last week closed the temporary camp Kokkinotrimithia, which had been home to over 300 Syrian and Palestinian migrants after they were rescued off the coast of Cyprus in September last year. The camp’s closure leaves 85 remaining individuals, believed to be mostly Palestinians, with no immediate shelter. NGOs believe that the government is unlikely to detain or remove the refugees but that they will remain undocumented. In September, the government had given them a 3-month temporary residence permit allowing the refugees time in which to apply for asylum or a residence permit with the right to work in Cyprus. But this period has now ended and many do not wish to take either option. According to ECRE member Kisa, the government promised to provide a “Visitors’ Visa” permitting a stay longer than three months but giving no right to work.