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Parliamentary questions
31 August 2017
E-005428-17
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Georgios Epitideios (NI)

 Subject:  Deprivation of Cypriot refugees' religious freedoms by the occupying authorities

The occupying authorities did not allow Cypriot refugees to celebrate in the Cathedral of Saint Mamas, in occupied Morphou, from 1 — 3 September 2017 due to Bayram.

The communication from the Holy Metropolis of Morphou states: ‘… Although our request to perform specific services was submitted to the UN peacekeeping force in early July 2017, the occupying authorities notified us on 22 August 2017, through the peacekeeping force, of their negative answer, on religious grounds, and alleged that the celebrations of St. Mamas coincide with the launch of Kurban Bayram on 1 September 2017.

In our view, nothing prevents Christians and Muslims from holding parallel celebrations in this country.

We, therefore, condemn the unacceptable action by the occupying authorities as being contrary to both international law and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…’.

1. Does the Commission consider that these practices are consistent with European principles and values?

2. Does it believe that a solution on the basis of the Bizonal Bicommunal Federation (BBF) will guarantee the basic freedoms and rights of Cypriots?

3. Will it remind Turkey that the encroachment of religious freedoms is a further barrier to a State joining the EU?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 13 September 2017Legal notice