A Cypriot man and his pregnant Vietnamese fiance have been reunited after the woman was released from Menoyia Detention Centre.
The woman’s release was a result of the efforts of NGO Cyprus Stop Trafficking president, Androulla Christofidou Henriques who earlier this week also petitioned the authorities to release a Sri Lankan mother of a young child.
In a press announcement yesterday, Henriques said the Cypriot fiancé of the woman from Vietnam had been so thrilled about her release from Menoyia he had invited everyone at the Interior Ministry to their engagement party, along with journalists and his lawyer.
The couple also look forward to celebrating their wedding and the christening of their child, Henriques added.
The Sri Lankan women had been detained by police in Paphos pending her deportation.
She is the mother of a young child, also in Cyprus. The woman, her husband and their child have since decided to leave Cyprus.
Speaking with Henriques earlier this week, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said he had given clear instructions to the Director of the Civil Registry and Migration, Anni Shiakalli that in cases of arrest for deportation both parents were not arrested, leaving the minor in the care of the welfare services.
However, Hasikos on Wednesday also called on local human rights campaigners to stop embarrassing Cyprus internationally over “so-called violations” of immigrant rights.
“Illegal immigrants have no place in Cyprus and we do not want to send the message that the island is a safe haven where they can stay without fear,” he said.
The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights recently criticised Cyprus for detaining the mothers of minors solely for deportation purposes. It said the child’s best interests should be primary and that this behaviour is completely opposed to international human rights standards.