Cyprus passes femicide law that holds hefty sentences


Perpetrators will get life in prison for femicide.

Catherine Falls Commercial, Getty Images

Cyprus MPs have approved legislation making femicide a crime punishable by life imprisonment, as domestic violence rises on the Mediterranean island.

The bill sponsored by Annita Demetriou, the country’s first female speaker of parliament, was passed on Thursday.

Demetriou told parliament that victims were women killed at the hands of men they trusted, who exerted power over them.

Twenty femicides have been committed in Cyprus since 2019, including the murder last month of an 82-year-old woman by her 84-year-old husband.

The murders also include five women and two young girls slain in 2019 by a serial killer.

Cases of domestic violence in Cyprus sharply increased by 67% last year from 2020, and by 159% compared to 2019 before the arrival of Covid-19 and lockdowns, according to police data.

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