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    November 27, 2015

    The Cypriot Parliament’s recognition of the right to same-sex civil unions is an important first step towards eradicating discrimination and achieving full marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Cyprus, Amnesty International said.

    Yesterday’s vote shows how far Cyprus has come since decriminalizing same-sex sexual relations in 1998. It was preceded by a lengthy public debate over the past two years following political promises to recognize civil partnerships.

    “LGBTI activists in Cyprus have fought for years for this first step in the legal recognition of their intimate relationships. This a positive but long-overdue, and there is still a lot of work ahead before everybody can enjoy full marriage equality under the law,” said Eliza Goroya, Greece and Cyprus Campaigner at Amnesty International.

    “This is an important step forward not only for the LGBTI community, but for every marginalized community,” said Costas Gabrielides from the NGO Accept LGBT Cyprus.

    March 18, 2014

    •        Hundreds detained every year in prison-like conditions
    •        People who have committed no crime are routinely held for up to18 months or longer
    •        Asylum-seekers, including Syrian refugees, are among those detained
    •        Two women were forcibly separated from their pre-school aged children

    Cypriot immigration authorities routinely detain hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers in prison-like conditions for extended periods while awaiting deportation, said Amnesty International. Those detained include Syrian refugees and women separated from their young children.

    Evidence gathered by researchers during a recent visit to Cyprus indicates that the authorities are exploiting European Union (EU) laws – imposing automatic detention of migrants and asylum-seekers without implementing the required safeguards, which make detention a last resort. The practice is also a breach of international law.

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