Head of the EOKA veterans’ association, Thassos Sophocleous has said that his association will file a lawsuit against the British government for human rights abuses during the fight for independence from British colonial rule in 1955-1959. Lawyers in the UK will represent eight EOKA veteran – two women and six men. The papers will be filed by the end of June, he said.
A precedent was set in the cases brought forward by three Kenyans, members of the Mau-Mau tribe that also accused the colonial power of torture during an uprising in Kenya between 1952 and 1963. Although the British government did not accept liability, it paid hefty amounts in compensation, while Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed his “sincere regret” for the torture and ill-treatment that Kenyans suffered under the colonial administration.
The lawyers representing the EOKA veterans, in similar fashion, will attempt to reach an out of court settlement with the British authorities
I believe we are going to win because what we are saying is true and we have all of the evidence,” said Sophocleous.
Declassified official British documents and Red Cross archives allegedly contain evidence of abuses against members of EOKA, lawyers claim. In addition to which, newspaper reports and medical evidence support their claims, Sophocleous has said.
The forthcoming EOKA lawsuit has randomly coincided with the publication of a book titled ‘The End of Empire’ by veteran BBC journalist Martin Bell who served as a conscript in Cyprus during the last two years of the EOKA fighting.
Cyprus Mail, LGC News