CYPRUS: The Commissioner for Administration complicit in the attacks against CSOs’ freedom of expression

Article published by Kisa on 21/10/21

On Monday, 18/10/2021, the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights participated in a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Equal Opportunities between Men and Women on the issue of “Update about the non-upgrading of the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights by the competent sub-committee of the UN”, that is the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), as recorded in the GANHRI SCA Report, after its last session in June 2021. It is noted that the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights is accorded B status since 2015 as to its compliance with the Paris Principles.

During the meeting, according to information published in the press, the Commissioner repeatedly referred to the “former” organisation KISA, probably in view of its unlawful deregistration from the Register of Associations and its defamatory proclamation as an “illegal” organisation by the Minister of Interior and services of his ministry, acting once again as the supporter and backer of the policies and practices of the government that appointed her.

As shown in the Report State of the rule of law in Europe of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) published in June 2021, the Commissioner, apart from incorrect data she reports, in essence justifies the decision of the «competent authority» for KISA’s deregistration.  But going even further, and basically undermining the very institution which she has to serve, with this position the Commissioner clashes with both the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe  as well as the position of 5 Special Rapporteurs of the UN, who have publicly condemned KISA’s deregistration as  violation of human rights.

Unfortunately, the Commissioner for Administration, in violation of the Paris Principles, has diligently failed to deal with the issue of the deregistration of KISA and some 2200 other NGOs, despite our organisation’s two written complaints that to date she has refused to examine.

With her above statements, the Commissioner provocatively also disregards the fact that KISA, until the reinstatement of the status of association through the judicial procedures that it has set in motion, has registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation on the basis of the law for Non Profit Companies, procedures that we have published a number of times.

KISA has once again addressed the Commissioner with a letter two day ago, in which it calls on her to proceed to the examination of our complaints but to also publicly correct her position as to KISA’s status.

Steering Committee