British woman cleared of lying over gang rape takes case to European Court
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British woman cleared of lying over gang rape takes case to European Court

Cypriot authorities have failed to open fresh investigation into alleged 2019 attack in Ayia Napa by group of Israeli men

Police officers escort a 19-year-old British woman, center, from the Famagusta court in town of Paralimni, Cyprus, Monday, July 29, 2019. She was later cleared of lying about the attack. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Police officers escort a 19-year-old British woman, center, from the Famagusta court in town of Paralimni, Cyprus, Monday, July 29, 2019. She was later cleared of lying about the attack. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Lawyers for a British woman cleared of lying about a gang rape in Cyprus are taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because her alleged Israeli attackers have never been prosecuted.

Now 21 and studying at university, the woman is “determined to push for justice” in challenging a decision by Cypriot authorities not to order a fresh investigation into her alleged attack in the party town of Ayia Napa in the summer of 2019 after she was found innocent.

Twelve Israeli men in their late teens were arrested at the time but were released soon after, returning home only hours later to a heroes’ welcome. Israeli media reported that one suspect was 16, adding that the group were on holiday ahead of their IDF army service. They denied allegations of rape, saying it was “with consent”.

The woman, who was 19 at the time, was found guilty of ‘public mischief’ by a Cypriot court, who accused her of lying. This decision was later overturned by the country’s supreme court. “It was clear to all that guilt had been decided before the trial had begun,” her lawyers said, adding that “fair trial provisions were not applied”.

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