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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-09-17

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, September 17, 2000


  • [01] No sex, please, we’re police: raid on Romance
  • [02] Immigrants suspect ruse to ship them back to Lebanon
  • [03] Sex and the Cyprus male
  • [04] Youths hurt in bike crash
  • [05] Police hunt kiosk raiders
  • [06] Women highlight life under the Taliban
  • [07] Two held after cannabis find

  • [01] No sex, please, we’re police: raid on Romance

    By Jean Christou

    POLICE raided the Acropole cinema on Friday night and confiscated the controversial French film Romance which has been banned by the censorship board.

    Acropole was screening the film under the umbrella of film club membership to an audience of around ten people when police officers burst into the cinema at around 9.30pm, just before the second screening.

    The cinema set up a film club in June. Romance, a film which contains explicit sex scenes, was its first screening, and had been running at Acropole for the past week.

    “The cinema owners initially refused to hand it over to police,” one film club member told the Sunday Mail but added that after consulting with their lawyers they relinquished the print.

    The film club was due to meet yesterday afternoon to discuss the next step.

    “This is not a question of a particular film club, a particular cinema or a particular individual interest,” the club member said. “We are talking here about a whole principle, about censorship and freedom of expression in Cyprus, and we will continue to campaign on this issue.”

    Crime prevention squad officer Kyriacos Alexandrou said police had acted after the censorship board issued its ban.

    “We checked out information that the film was being screened and so we carried out a surprise raid,” he said.

    “When the law says a private screening it means a place which is completely private such as a house. But you can’t show a banned film in a licensed facility and say it’s for a specific group.”

    Some confusion exists over what a film club is and who can or cannot show banned films.

    In 1997, another controversial film, Crash, was banned but later shown at Cine Studio to its film club members.

    But Androulla Laniti, recently appointed chairwoman of the censorship board, told the Sunday Mail yesterday it was illegal to show any banned film. “There are no club regulations. The regulations concern all films in general,” she said.

    “The Acropole formed a club but this is a public showing because anyone can become a member.”

    Laniti said she did not know that Crash had been shown in the past.

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [02] Immigrants suspect ruse to ship them back to Lebanon

    By George Psyllides

    THERE was fresh trouble off the old port of Limassol yesterday on a boat where 266 illegal immigrants are being held under police guard.

    The immigrants, mainly Pakistanis and Kurds, were rescued from the sea off Paphos on Wednesday.

    Yesterday the trouble began after they were told they would be moved to a larger boat.

    The immigrants thought the police were trying to load them on a boat that would take them back to Lebanon, where they began their journey.

    They refused to be transferred and some threatened to set themselves on fire, while others used glass to show police they were ready to cut themselves if any effort was made to ship them back.

    Assistant Police Chief Nathanael Papageorgiou boarded the ship and explained to the immigrants that they were being transferred to a larger boat where there was more space and better facilities for their personal hygiene.

    After that the immigrants agreed to board the small cruise ship.

    On Friday they also threatened to mutilate themselves, protesting about the living conditions on the two vessels where they were being held.

    Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou has called on Lebanon to enforce a bilateral agreement providing that illegal immigrants must return to the country they came from, once this has been proved.

    But Beirut disputes claims that the immigrants set out from Lebanon and has so far rejected the Cyprus request.

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [03] Sex and the Cyprus male

    By Jenny Curtis

    MANY Cypriot men who take a mistress find themselves unable to perform in bed, according to new report which takes sexual issues out of the closet.

    The research also reveals that many married men who have suffered from premature ejaculation for years do nothing about it until confronted by dissatisfied mistresses.

    Larnaca-based specialist sex therapist and clinical psychologist George Georgiou has compiled a 50-page report on the sexual habits of Cypriots which sheds some light on what is essentially still a taboo subject.

    Georgiou said most of his clients are men, some 30 per cent of whom suffer from impotence. This often happens when a man takes on a mistress.

    “I see this happening time and time again,” Georgiou told the Sunday Mail. “It could be guilt, but in most cases it’s because they feel under extra pressure to perform in front of a new girlfriend -- they are keen to prove their manhood and the anxiety kills the moment.”

    Georgiou said he always advises those clients to end the affair and concentrate on their marriages.

    Another 30 per cent of male clients suffer from premature ejaculation, one of the most common complaints. But most sufferers do not seek help and when they eventually do, it is more likely to be prompted by dissatisfied girlfriends than long-suffering wives.

    Georgiou’s treatment of such cases involves working through a series of exercises in the privacy of the bedroom. “Unlike America, here in Cyprus none of the physical side of the therapy takes place in the clinic and surrogate partners are not used,” he said.

    Male Sexual Phobia – when a man loses all desire for sex with his partner -- is also increasing in Cyprus. Georgiou said the problem can be traced back to psychological difficulties stemming from childhood.

    “More often than not these men find it difficult to relate to their partner. They’re not close to them and have trouble communicating,” Georgiou said.

    He added that the changing role of women in society could also be a factor. Many men feel quite threatened by and unable to cope with vocal partners unwilling to tolerate behaviour they deem unacceptable.

    While most of Georgiou’s clients are men aged between 18-55 (with nearly half of those in the 25-35 age group), he also treats a growing number of women with problems achieving orgasm.

    “I would not say there is too much emphasis on the orgasm, but rather too little attention is paid to the dynamics of the partnership,” he said. “What couples should be concentrating on is the quality of inter- communication, establishing mutual trust, understanding each other’s needs and being willing to make compromises.”

    Sex is all in the mind, he said, and people in a happy loving relationship are more likely to be content sexually.

    Cypriot society has much to answer for when it comes to women’s sexual problems, Georgiou said. He frequently encounters vaginismus, affecting the muscle at the entrance to the vagina, making it contract and rendering sex physically impossible.

    “This can happen for many reasons but I think our culture is often to blame, ” he said. “Virginity in women is related directly to the honour of the family, and parents naturally seek to protect it, particularly those living in small villages.” As a result some girls grow up repressed and fearing sex, a psychological condition which manifests itself in the physical.

    But vaginismus is treatable. Georgiou cited his successful treatment of a woman who was unable to consummate her marriage for 14 years. “She was so delighted when she finally gave birth to their first child that she asked me to christen it,” he said.

    One of Georgiou’s more interesting cases involved an 89-year-old man who came to him for advice. “He’d just discovered he had a heart condition and was worried about the effect this would have on his sex life, as he was still making love to his wife three times a week,” Georgiou said.

    “All I could really say was ‘Grandad – if only I could live as long as you, never mind be sexually active at your age. You are a very lucky man’.”

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [04] Youths hurt in bike crash

    By Staff Reporter

    A 14-year-old injured in a motorbike accident in Limassol was still in critical condition in Nicosia hospital yesterday while his 16-year-old friend who was also hurt was said to be in a better condition in Limassol hospital.

    Ioannis Ioannou was riding pillion with Nestoras Charalambous who reportedly ran a stop sign and hit an army vehicle.

    The two youths were rushed to Limassol hospital where it was decided to transfer Ioannou to Nicosia because of the seriousness of his injury.

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [05] Police hunt kiosk raiders

    By Staff Reporter

    NICOSIA police were yesterday seeking two men who tried to rob a kiosk at gunpoint.

    The owner told police two pistol-wielding men entered the shop at 9.15pm on Friday and demanded cash.

    Fifty-year-old Elli Constantinou refused to hand the money over and instead hit one of the thugs on the hand with the telephone handset. The raider fought back and hit her in the face with his pistol and fled the kiosk empty-handed on a motorbike with his accomplice.

    Constantinou was taken to Nicosia hospital where she was treated for lacerations and released.

    The men were described as slim, 1.69 metres tall, and 20 to 25 years of age.

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [06] Women highlight life under the Taliban

    By Jean Christou

    MOTHER of three Nasima Daneshyar is one of seven Afghani women attending a peace conference this weekend in Nicosia to highlight the plight of her gender under Taliban rule.

    Since Russia pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989 Daneshyar has spent her self- imposed exile in Iran fighting for those she left behind whose lives have become an unimaginable hell.

    Under ultra-extremist Taliban law, women are not allowed to work or even show their faces in public, schools have been shut to girls over eight years old, and whippings for the most minor ‘offences’ -- such as showing an ankle -- are a regular occurrence.

    Daneshyar is one of the luckier ones who managed to leave the country, and she has pledged to devote her time to helping restore some sanity to her country.

    The former teacher and newspaper editor works with a women’s group in Iran.

    “I am out of Afghanistan, but what about the other woman still there?” she said. “It’s hard to believe the Taliban are even human beings.”

    Although Daneshyar spent a good part of her earlier years in Pakistan, she and her husband, a political science lecturer, moved back to Afghanistan shortly after the Russians pulled out.

    “When the Russians left it was a really nice feeling to think the war had ended. It was a big event in our country’s history and we were hopeful for the future,” she said. “But then the power struggle started.”

    Eventually, after having to keep moving to stay ahead of the rebels, Daneshyar decided to take her children and move to India.

    “Every day we had to move to safer and safer places. It was a short time for me but it was unbearable,” she said. “There was no health system, no schools, no medicines, no electricity… nothing.”

    Her husband opted to remain in Afghanistan. “He thought we should remain and live among the people so he stayed,” she said. He became involved in peace efforts but was killed in a plane crash on a peace mission three years ago.

    She has now taken up the gauntlet and has become highly critical of the international community’s failure to act on Afghanistan.

    “This is the year 2000 and I’m surprised at how the world can sit back and ignore the situation. How can the US, the UN and Europe, claimers of human rights do nothing?” she asked. “The Taliban don’t believe the woman is a human being and Afghanistan is now a dead body. It’s a shameful situation and as a woman I’m not satisfied with the UN shutting their eyes to this.”

    Daneshyar said her mission is not political but humanitarian. “In every war women suffer the most as mothers, wives and sisters. We want peace and we need it for our children,” she said. “Our main goal and concern is peace, and that’s why we have gathered here.”

    The three-day Nicosia conference, organised by the Centre for World Dialogue, is also being attended by Taliban representatives along with Cypriot, UN, British, American, German, Russian and Iranian officials.

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    [07] Two held after cannabis find

    By Staff Reporter

    TWO men were yesterday remanded in custody for five days by the district court in Larnaca, suspected of drug possession, use, and trafficking. A third man was released for lack of evidence.

    Leonidas Demetriou, 22, from Larnaca, and 25-year-old Costas Pashali, 25, from Nicosia, were arrested after police allegedly found 15 grams of cannabis in their possession.

    Investigator Vassos Tandis told the court that police on Friday stopped the cars of Demetriou and another man for a check.

    Police frisked both men and found 15 grams of what is thought to be cannabis wrapped in foil on Demetriou, who claimed the drug was for his own use.

    Demetriou later told police he bought the drug for £70 from Pashali, and that the three of them had smoked cannabis earlier at Pashali’s home.

    Police then searched Pashali’s home and found two smoked joints, which he admitted he had smoked with the other suspects. Pashali denied being the cannabis provider, however.

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