#BoycottCyprus movement launched in support of British teen over Israel gang rape case
A "boycott Cyprus" movement has been launched in the UK, in support of a teenager who has been convicted for lying about being raped whilst on holiday in Cyprus.
On Monday, a Cyprus court found the 19-year-old British teen guilty of "wilfully indulging in public mischief" after she claimed she was raped by a group of young Israeli men while on holiday in Ayia Napa in July, allegations she still stands by.
Critics of the verdict lashed out at the Cypriot justice system, saying trial was riddled with irregularities and the verdict may have been influenced by the island state's relationship with Israel.
Earlier this week, #IBelieveHer was trending on social media in support of the victim, along with a new #BoycottCyprus hashtag which has now become viral.
"Cyprus tried to protect their tourist image whilst ruining this girls life but have caused themselves a lot more bad publicity in the process. It's been taken off my holiday destination list purely for this reason! How can anyone ever feel safe there again! #BoycottCyprus," one woman tweeted.
The victim’s mother came out in support of the #BoycottCyprus movement, saying she believes Ayia Napa is not safe.
"The place isn't safe - it is absolutely not safe,'' she said.
"And if you go and report something that's happened to you, you're either laughed at, as far as I can tell, or, in the worst case, something like what's happened to my daughter may happen."
Read also: UK raises concerns with Cyprus over teenager's conviction of lying about rape
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that some of the parents of the boys are close to the Israeli establishment, according to The Times.
The father of one of the boys is an adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem, who when he was interviewed, he maintained his son’s innocence because he was in a different hotel room when the assault took place.
Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s minister for regional cooperation, admitted in an interview that he has close ties with the parents of two of the suspects and that he was “under the impression that most of the boys have been seriously wronged”.
Upon the suspects' return to Israel, they were greeted with champagne bottles and chanting "the Brit is a w*ore".