British woman says she was gang raped by Israelis after being kidnapped in Cyprus

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A group of Israeli men has been taken into custody in Cyprus following allegations of gang-rape made by a 20-year-old British woman who was on vacation in Ayia Napa.

The five Israeli men, aged 19 and 20, have been placed in detention for an additional eight days, as ordered by a district court magistrate in Famagusta following their arrest on Sunday night.

The British woman, who cannot legally be identified, reported to the police that she had suffered sexual assault by the Israelis, who forcefully took her from the hotel pool area to her room.

“They will be kept in custody in our holding cells in Paralimni, we take these allegations seriously,” said a police officer in Ayia Napa, who described the victim as “highly distressed.”

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the arrests came after police secured witness testimony to support the allegation. It further added that the five Israelis and the British individual will undergo medical evaluations.

READ: Cyprus detains Israel mining magnate

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office told the BBC: “We are supporting a British woman in Cyprus and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli ministry said officials are in touch with Cypriot authorities as well as with families of the detained Israelis.

Orit Sulitzeanu, the executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centres in Israel, noted that the news of the suspected incident is part of a series of cases of group sexual abuse.

“This case is a warning for Israeli society because this is not an isolated case, but rather a dangerous phenomenon of group sexual abuse is developing here as part of the culture of recreation abroad, as happened in 2019 in Ayia Napa, about a month ago in Rhodes and in 2019 in Crete,” said Sulitzeanu.

“The education system in Israel has a critical role in educating the youth for healthy sexuality and preventing sexual harm, to discuss what constitutes consent and, of course, the issue of photographing and distributing videos, which constitute a criminal offence.”

The case comes after another British woman last year won her appeal to overturn a conviction for ‘lying’ about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli tourists when she was an 19-year-old at a holiday resort in Cyprus in 2019

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Disclaimer: British woman says she was gang raped by Israelis after being kidnapped in Cyprus - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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