An attack by a group of people with covered faces against attendees of an event organised by a student union and ACCEPT-LGBTI Cyprus on Wednesday evening at the University of Technology (CUT) in Limassol, that led to the injury of a student, was widely condemned on Thursday with President-elect Nikos Christodoulides saying this was an unacceptable and condemnable act. 

Christodoulides said in a statement that such acts of violence, were unacceptable and condemnable. He noted that the police have already started investigating the incident and results were expected very soon.

“Respect for human rights, diversity and the dignity of all citizens without exception are non-negotiable in a democratic state”, he said.

He noted that they are “resolutely” focusing on the effort to lift all discriminations that limit citizens’ rights or cause inequalities and support the right to freedom of choice, “as a democratic conquest”.

Rector of CUT, Panayiotis Zaphiris, told CNA that, it constitutes “a terrorist act” against the free expression of ideas and opinions in a university. Asked whether members of the student community could have been involved, the Rector said that there were no such indications, expressing the belief that through actions they have carried out over time, the university is a a community that is tolerant of diversity and different points of view. He noted, however, that, if there is evidence that members of the university community were involved, they would handle it decisively and there would be punishment.

The incident took place during an informational meeting held by student union FETEPAK and ACCEPT-LGBTI Cyprus with students on issues that concern LGBTI individuals, when around eight to 10 people with their faces covered, stormed into the room and sprayed attendees with a fire extinguisher while shouting derogatory slogans.

According to the Police, tension and small-scale incidents ensued from the immediate reaction of students present at the event, while a 21-year-old student was injured lightly.

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