Two men sought by SBA police for assaulting a bird conservationist earlier this month have handed themselves in to the police station in Dhekelia, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said on Wednesday.
It said the two individuals are accused of assault causing actual bodily harm, driving a car without registration, verbal abuse and making death threats to a CABS volunteer in front of SBA-police officers accompanying the bird guard volunteers.
The NGO praised SBA police for their efforts in combating/reducing illegal bird trapping which has led to a 85% decrease in illegal bird trapping within the Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia since 2016.
But it said enforcement in the Republic of Cyprus is at an all-time-low with the anti-poaching-squad of the police recently dissolved and the Game Fund as well as the local police barely reacting to reports of illegal bird trapping activity.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of January 14, when the bird activists led the SBA-police to an illegal bird trapping site near Ayios Nikolaos.
“Soon after we met with the police the two men arrived in a black SUV with removed registration plates. They were immediately aggressive and started to shout at us. The situation escalated when they made death threats and one of them punched me in the face,” a CABS member said. Eventually the men fled the scene.
After the assault, SBA Police issued arrest warrants for both suspects and increased their presence in Ayios Nikolaos and Vrysoules. CABS said that the increased police pressure finally led both suspects to hand themselves in at the police station in Dhekelia a few days after the attack.
“We have been informed that at least one of them will be charged with the assault and face trial soon”, CABS spokesperson Andrea Rutigliano said.
CABS welcomed the quick success of the investigation and praised the SBA police for their professional work and their efforts in combating/reducing illegal bird trapping.
Since 2016, CABS reports to the SBA police have led to a 85% decrease in illegal bird trapping within the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia, the NGO said.
But CABS also noted that enforcement in the Republic of Cyprus is at an all-time-low with theanti-poaching-Squad of the police recently being dissolved and the Game Fund as well as the local police barely reacting to reports of illegal bird trapping activity.
The organisation stated that the series of violent attacks against members in the last years will not deter them from continuing their work to bring an end to illegal bird trapping in the Republic of Cyprus.