A British teenager who was arrested on charges of falsifying a gang-rape complaint says local police in Cyprus forced her to sign a fabricated confession.
The young woman, 19, was arrested in late July, after local investigators claimed her allegations against a group of Israeli teenagers were unfounded.
It was also alleged she had confessed to making up the claims that a dozen Israelis raped her at a hotel in the party resort of Ayia Napa.
All the boys, who were arrested earlier in the month, were freed from custody. They had all denied the allegations.
In the latest turn of events, the teenager told Justice Abroad, an organisation assisting her and her family that the confession was coerced and she only signed as she was exhausted after hours of questioning. Speaking through her family, she also said police had been threatening her friends.
In a statement provided to The Independent, the organisation said her confession was not made voluntarily and she had not been offered legal representation.
“The police officer told her that he believed that she was lying about the allegations and that he wanted to help her. He told her to write a confession and that if she did not do so he would arrest her friends in Cyprus for conspiracy,” it said.
The teenager, who became upset and swore, was then subjected to further pressure to sign a confession, said the organisation.
“The purported confession was dictated to her and she was told what to include in the statement with her,” it said. “There was a stand-off about signing the statement with the teenager refusing to sign and the police officer telling her that she had to.”
The young woman’s family claim she was told that if she did not sign she would be arrested, but if she signed she could return back to her hotel.
The organisation said their client, who is being represented by the lawyer Michael Polak, was not cautioned, she was not offered a lawyer as was her right under the European Convention on Human Rights and none of the proceedings were recorded.
The woman is expected to appear in court on 7 August for a plea hearing.
Additional reporting by agencies
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