UK government pays £1m to Cyprus ‘torture victims’

Thirty-three Cypriots who claimed they were tortured by British forces during an armed uprising in the late 1950s are to be awarded £1m damages, to be shared between them, by the UK government.

The group was arrested on suspicion of being part of paramilitary organisation EOKA, which fought a guerrilla campaign to overthrow British control in Cyprus.

One woman, aged 16 at the time, said she was repeatedly raped by soldiers.

The government said the settlement was not “any admission of liability”.

The 1955-59 rebellion was known as the Cyprus Emergency, during which the governor enacted draconian laws, flooding the island with 30,000 soldiers, police officers and Turkish-Cypriot thugs.

Some 371 British military personnel died during the emergency.

The claimants – now in their 70s and 80s and in poor health – have had to wait almost 60 years to seek justice for their injuries, because the government documents outlining their treatment were classified and out of reach until 2012.

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