Zypern – 16. 11. 2022
The Movement of United Cypriot Hunters (TMUCH) protects poachers with disinformation and political smearing.
Paralimni. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) accuse The Movement of United Cypriot Hunters (M.U.C.H., Ενεργοί Πολίτες - Κίνημα Ενωμένων Κυπρίων Κυνηγώv) of systematically and deliberately spreading misinformation to protect bird poachers and muzzle conservationists.
The latest incident in a series of lies and intimidation is a video published on the M.U.C.H. Social Media channels and later broadcasted by local TV stations. While M.U.C.H. claims that the video shows a CABS member “disturbing” hunters, CABS wish to point out that the volunteer on the video was quietly sitting in a public non-hunting area near Xylofagou while waiting for officers of the Game & Fauna Officers to return from an inspection.
Our volunteer sat on public ground and in contrast to the hunters acted absolutely legally. We had informed the officers that hunters in the area were using illegal bird calling machines”, CABS spokesperson Bostjan Debersek said adding that suddenly a group of hunters approached the volunteer and started filming her without her consent. The hunters left immediately after filming, aware that the Game and Fauna officials were arriving.
“Instead of taking a clear stand against bird poaching the MUCH is actively supporting wildlife crime in their efforts to criminalise CABS members and other witnesses who have reported cases of illegal hunting and trapping to the authorities”, said Debersek; adding that similar tactics are used by criminal organisations and autocratic regimes rather than political parties in a democratic country”. He also regretted that some local media broadcasted the video without blurring the volunteers face and without contacting CABS for a statement.
This autumn alone, Debersek continued, CABS members have reported several hundred cases of illegal bird killings to the authorities and provided them with sufficient evidence to prosecute 58 suspects. CABS said that its members will not be intimidated and will continue to work alongside the police and Game and Fauna Service to protect birds from illegal persecution.
- Contact for photographic and video material and other information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, fon +0049 179 480 3805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de