Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2005

11 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 11 March 2005.
Refugees band together to protect properties
"... law suits will be filed against anyone deemed to be taking advantage of Greek Cypriot property without entitlement... scores of refugees have already started collecting dossier evidence to incriminate those illegally using their property in the north."

REFUGEE organisations are starting to get organised and coordinate efforts in a bid to prevent their properties being usurped in the occupied areas.

An umbrella organisation has been created to encompass all property and home owners in the north so that they can be presented in mass civil actions before the European Court of Human Rights.

Under the scheme, law suits will be filed against anyone deemed to be taking advantage of Greek Cypriot property without entitlement.

The initiative is being taken by a group called the European Future of Cyprus, headed by Kyrenia Mayor Constantinos Orologas. Refugees becoming part of the group would get lawyers to represent them on a pro bono basis. Some 10 lawyers have already expressed an interest in taking such cases to the highest court and help prepare the legal background necessary.

Moreover, scores of refugees have already started collecting dossier evidence to incriminate those illegally using their property in the north.

This new initiative hangs on a landmark case now being contested at Nicosia district court against a British couple, the Orams. They are being tried for illegally building on the property of Meletis Apostolides in Lapithos. The couple are appealing against a decision to give the property back and pay the owner compensation for illegal use. If they lose the case the landmark ruling would have to be enforced by fellow EU member states, meaning the UK authorities could freeze assets the Orams have in Britain.

A ruling against the couple would also have repercussions for other foreigners who bought Greek Cypriot property in the north.

Brits living in the north have realised they are living on shaky ground with some of them forming an association called European Property Association of Northern Cyprus (Eupro). This body says it will help legally protect home owners against "Greek Cypriot propaganda" and counter any action, like that faced by the Orams, for a fee."