£80k crowdfunded for Cyprus rape claim Brit as mum calls for boycott

1 January 2020, 10:06

The teenager cannot be named for legal reasons
The teenager cannot be named for legal reasons. Picture: PA

The mother of a British teenager convicted by a court in Cyprus of lying about being raped has backed calls for a tourism boycott of the country.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of causing public mischief, prompting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to say they were “seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees” in the case.

But the Government of Cyprus has said it has "full confidence in the justice system and the courts."

A #BoycottCyprus hashtag started on Twitter in response to the verdict form the courts on Monday.

The mother of the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the BBC she supported the campaign and that she believes the resort town of Ayia Napa is unsafe.

"The place isn't safe - it is absolutely not safe. And if you go and report something that's happened to you, you're either laughed at, as far as I can tell, or, in the worst case, something like what's happened to my daughter may happen," she said.

The teenager said she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17.

But she was charged and the dozen young men, aged between 15 and 20, who were arrested over the incident, were freed after she signed a retraction statement 10 days later.

The woman, who had been due to go to university in September, claimed in court she was raped but forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the case was "deeply distressing" and it will raise the issue with Cypriot authorities.

The woman said her daughter is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hallucinations, and is sleeping for up to 20 hours a day because of a condition called hypersomnia.

"She needs to get back to the UK to get that treated - that's my absolute primary focus. She can't be treated here because hearing foreign men speaking loudly will trigger an episode...

"It needs resolving otherwise she's going to carry on having this for the rest of her life," the woman said.

She said her daughter had planned to go to university this year after being accepted for the courses she applied for and being offered a bursary at one institute.

"So, no question, she would have gone to university, but it was in a career that she wouldn't be able to do with this 'public mischief' verdict, so - again, life-changing for her - she needs to totally rethink her options."

The crowdfunding page has reached more than £80,000
The crowdfunding page has reached more than £80,000. Picture: PA

A crowdfunding appeal to raise money for legal support for her daughter has passed £80,000.

The "help teen victim get justice in Cyprus" GoFundMe was set up by British lawyer John Hobbs in August to raise cash for the 19-year-old's legal representation.

The crowdfunding page says they are "seeking funds to pay for the required legal representation in Cyprus. The organisation Justice Abroad has already been providing assistance within the UK."

The teenager claimed in court she was raped but forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police.

Her lawyers said they will appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court of Cyprus and the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

The teenager said that she was "dedicated to seeking true justice", while her mother described the verdict as "absolutely astonishing" and said her daughter was "effectively in a gilded cage" as she awaits sentencing on the island.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Princess Anne is reportedly unable to remember what happened due to the nature of the injury.

Princess Anne ‘unable to recall exactly what happened’ after being ‘hit by horse’ as she faces several days in hospital

England have qualified for the last 16 at Euro 2024.

England qualify for last 16 at Euro 2024 after Spain beat Albania

Rishi Sunak criticised Labour's proposed plans to tackle migration rates in the UK.

UK would be ‘illegal migration capital of world’ under Labour, Sunak says as he sets out plans to ‘stop the boats’

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power

Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

Lord Kinnock has said he would not wish being part of the current Tory government on his 'most bloodthirsty enemies'.

‘I wish I was fighting this lot’, ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock says as he brands current Tory party 'superficial'

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to kidnap Holly Willoughby

Obsessed security guard ‘plotted to keep Holly Willoughby in dungeon where screams couldn't be heard for miles'

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Florida rapper Julio Foolio has been shot dead

Florida rapper Julio Foolio shot dead during his birthday in Florida