The family of the 19-year-old British woman who retracted allegations that she had been gang raped by a group of Israeli teenagers say that she was pressured by Cyprus police in doing so.
She has been charged with public mischief after recanting her allegations and could face a year in prison if convicted.
Her family say that she was threatened and pressured to change her story so that the Israeli teenagers could be set free.
British legal group Justice Abroad are working with her family to investigate the incident where it is claimed that she was taken to a police station for a follow-up testimony, and was then pressured to retract her initial story whilst she was still on medication.
“After providing a further written statement, the police officer told her that he believed that she was lying about the allegations and that he wanted to help her,” Justice Abroad said in a statement.
“He told her to write a confession and that if she did not do so he would arrest her friends in Cyprus for conspiracy, naming the friends he would arrest if she refused.”
It is alleged that the girl had initially refused and left the room feeling very distressed. She stated, ‘you’ve got to be f***ing joking’ before leaving the room in tears. “Upon returning to the room she was threatened to be charged with ‘swearing at a police officer’,” states Justice Abroad, adding that “further pressure was placed upon her to write the confession despite her stating that she did not want to. The purported confession was dictated to her and she was told what to include in the statement, with her being given a choice of reasons to include for why she made a criminal complaint of rape.”
The girl’s family say that her request for a lawyer was turned down in violation of the Cyprus constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, the police did not record their interview with her.
Cypriot police deny the allegations and state that they had not coerced a confession.
Twelve young Israelis on holiday, aged from 15-18, had been arrested in mid-July after the woman accused them of gang raping her in her Aya Napa hotel room. Teenagers still kept in custody were released following the woman’s retraction. The DNA samples of a number of the teens had been found in her hotel room and the woman had carried injuries to her body, however her initial accusation that she had been raped was retracted after she told police that she had willingly participated in intercourse.