Yesterday evening, Sunday, at the entrance to the presidential palace in Nicosia (Cyprus), a demonstration of many thousands took place. The demonstrators attacked the Dias media group building, which houses the Sigma TV company.
The demonstration, according to TASS, was directed against the decision of the Cypriot government on the widespread use of SafePass antique certificates, starting on July 20. From that day on, they will be required to enter practically all public premises. The rally ended in clashes with the police, and then a group of protesters went to the neighboring area and attacked the building of the Dias media group, which houses the Sigma TV company. They set fire to several cars in the parking lot and broke into the office of the TV station, damaging the premises.
The attack took place during the Sunday evening broadcast of the Sigma channel, the attackers crashed and burned everything around. Newsletter presenter journalist Nestoras Vassilios was informed of what was happening by his frightened colleagues and addressed the law enforcement agencies on the air:
“The group is currently under attack. Looks like we have a fire at the gates of the complex, if the police can hear us, let them do something. Our cars break down, I hear colleagues screaming in my headset, I don’t know what else to say. The gate is on fire. People are inside and break our cars. They throw stones, hit windows, bottles. In a democratic country in 2021. There are no words to describe it. “
Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades strongly condemned such actions and called the demonstrators’ attack on Sigma TV a blow to democracy. The head of state expressed his reaction on Twitter, and then published a special statement on the official website. According to the president, “the attack on Sigma is a blow to democracy and the rule of law, which is unacceptable.” Nikos Anastasiades promised that “the state will repay those who ignore the laws,” and democracy, health and safety of Cypriot citizens “will not remain in the hands of angry and irresponsible residents.”
The Greek Cypriot leader noted that the “marginal elements” opposing measures to combat the pandemic believed they could blackmail the state, but they could not:
“The state is not threatened or blackmailed by anyone, not to mention those who, referring to irrational conspiracy theories, are trying to lead the country into the Middle Ages.”
The attack on Sigma was condemned by many of the leading politicians in Cyprus. Annita Dimitriou, President of the Cypriot Parliament, noted that the state “has a duty to protect freedom of the press and democracy at all costs.”
Stelios Papateodorou, the head of the Cypriot police, said that after the clashes, six police officers were hospitalized and four protesters were arrested. He noted that the police were aware of the demonstration, but there was no information that the demonstrators would head towards the Dias office building.