UK protesters rally against teen's conviction in Cyprus rape-claim case

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The British teenager will be sentenced on Tuesday

Jan 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

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Dozens of protests demonstrated outside Cyprus’ high commission in London on Monday ahead of the sentencing of a young British woman convicted of fabricating claims she was raped in the resort town of Ayia Napa.

The 19-year-old had accused 12 Israeli tourists of raping her in a hotel in July. She is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, amid concerns about whether she was forced to retract her allegations under police pressure and the fairness of her trial.

The accused Israelis were then released while she was charged and later convicted of "public mischief".

Cypriot authorities have been criticised for their actions during questioning and the trial. The girl says police forced her to withdraw her complaint.

The 60 protesters, holding signs reading “we believe her” and “boycott process” rallied outside the Cypriot commission before heading towards parliament square and the home of the Prime Minister.

"She is being punished for something awful that happened to her," said Lucy Nevitt, rally organiser and co-founder of The Gemini Project, which supports victims of sexual assault.

"We have seen this happen too often, it happened to other people in Cyprus,” she told AFP. "This is why we are calling on the government to intervene."

The teenager faces up to a year in prison and a fine of 1,700 euros (Dh6,990).

She urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday to intervene.

"Time is running out for me. Please, please help," she said, according to tabloid newspaper The Sun.

Britain's Foreign Office said last week it was "seriously concerned" about whether she had received a fair trial.

Updated: January 6, 2020 10:38 PM

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