Zypern – 22. 01. 2020
Violent bird trappers surrender to the police
Man to be charged with assaulting and injuring CABS volunteer
Two bird trappers from Vrysoules, who have been wanted by the SBA police for attacking and injuring a bird conservationist, have handed themselves in to the police station in Dekelia, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said today.
The incident occured in the early morning hours of 14 January when the birdwatchers 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” Davide Cartisano, a CABS member from Italy, recalls adding that “It was only the presence of the police that prevented them from taking the aggression to a much further stage (and in the worst case even kill one of us)”. Eventually the men withdrew the attack and fled the scene.
After the assault, SBA Police issued arrest warrants for both suspects and increased their presence in Ayios Nikolaos and Vrysoules. The manhunt also included searches in fields, pubs and betting shops where the two men were believed to hang out and operate. The increased police pressure finally made both suspects to give up on hiding and to hand themselves in at the police station in Dekelia 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 Dr. Andrea Rutigliano said in a statement. CABS welcomed the quick success of the investigation and praised the SBA police for their professional work and their efforts in combatting/reducing illegal bird trapping.
Since 2017, CABS reports to the SBA police have led to a 85% decrease in illegal bird trapping within the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia . CABS also noted enforcement in the Cypriot Republic is at an all-time-low with the Anti-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 his 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.