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http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/elam-members-attack-lottery-seller/20110320

 

ELAM members attack a lottery seller

By George Psyllides and Poly Pantelides Published on March 20, 2011

AN elderly lottery ticket seller was yesterday beaten up by members of a nationalist group in the centre of Nicosia in broad daylight after he told them he disagreed with their beliefs.

Eye witnesses said Michalis Tsiakkas was beaten by two youths belonging to the nationalist group, National Popular Front (ELAM), dozens of whom were handing out flyers in busy Ledra Street at lunchtime.

It all started as a shouting match on a side road off the popular shopping thoroughfare with several ELAM members, clad in their black t-shirts, surrounding him.

The argument seemed to have come to an end, with the ELAM members walking away and Tsiakkas getting on his moped to leave.

But seconds later, and while Tsiakkas was half-way through another side road next to the Debenhams department store, he was attacked by two youths, members of ELAM, who threw him off his moped, hit him in the face and then fled the scene.

“The ELAM fascists attacked him,” an eyewitness told the Sunday Mail.

Tsiakkas’ moped lay on the ground, plastic pieces strewn on the pavement.

Tsiakkas, face bleeding from the blows, walked away, down Ledra Street, seemingly searching for his attackers.

“Am I supposed to die because I think differently to them?” a distraught Tsakkas asked the Sunday Mail moments after the attack. “And people around me just watched. I can’t allow this (behaviour) for as long as I am alive.”

The trouble started when ELAM members handing out printed flyers outlining their views, asked Tsiakkas what he thought of immigrants in Cyprus.

“Don’t I have the right to defend my fellow human beings?” he said. “People are working here, don’t they have any rights?”

Tsiakkas told the nationalists that on their logic, Cypriots in the UK, Canada, USA and elsewhere in the world should also leave those countries.

“For working people, every land is a homeland. There exists something that’s not good: fascism. This is what you should be attacking,” Tsiakkas said.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident but by that time there was no sign of any member of ELAM on Ledra Street.

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