Zypern – 05. 11. 2021
CABS – Conservationist seriously injured in violent attack on Cyprus.
CYPRUS. A serious and violent attack took place last night in Avgorou, when three masked trappers jumped on an Italian CABS member close to their illegal trapping installation and severely beat him nearly unconscious leaving him with blood pouring from his head and requiring urgent medical assistance.
The volunteer discovered three set trapping nets with a loud decoy caller, used to attract migratory birds and immediately reported the site to the Game and Fauna Service. However, while he was waiting for the agents to arrive, he was chased and cornered by an unmarked car and subsequently attacked by three balaclava clad trappers. After repeated blows to the head and body, the volunteer fell to the ground and was kicked until he remained motionless.
The bird protection volunteer was immediately rushed to hospital, where he received treatment for concussion as well as stitches on his forehead. Although he remains in shock he is now in a stable condition.
"In repeated correspondence to the relevant Ministries, we have already warned on several occasions that not only is illegal bird trapping increasing, but that tackling it as a civilian Non Governmental Organisation is becoming an increasingly dangerous task. It is also patently clear that the Game and Fauna Service does not have sufficient resources to tackle the situation effectively" - says Alex Heyd, CABS General Director. “Still, we have received no reply. Since the dismantling of the police' Anti-Poaching Unit, trapping is on the rise and so is the violence connected to it. Does it require someone to be killed in the name of trying to uphold the law before the message gets through to the Government in Nicosia?"
CABS and the other NGOs in Cyprus, along with the Game and Fauna Service, have been urgently pleading to the authorities to re-establish a Anti-Poaching Unit of the Police, but so far the Government has dismissed our appeals without further explanation.
"At this stage we must conclude that the Government is content with massive levels of illegal trapping, violence against civilians, impunity from the law and a toothless Game and Fauna Service. If the Government continues to turn a blind eye, we understand why the European Commission has initiated new infringement procedure against Cyprus. CABS will ask the responsible Embassies to protect foreign citizens who commit themselves in the protection of birds, our common heritage, in front of the inactivity of the Republic of Cyprus towards its own laws."
CABS is offering a reward of 5,000 Euros for information leading to the identification of the assailants.
Contact for more information: CABS Investigations Officer Andrea Rutigliano, +39 346 9484460 or Email to CABS@komitee.de
The picture attached to this PR shows CABS member Davide C. after the attack