Privacy concerns after video of verbal racist attack goes viral (Updated)

Police said on Monday they were examining video evidence and CCTV footage of a verbal racist attack by three Greek Cypriot women against a Russian woman in a Larnaca car park on Saturday night, while Child Commissioner Despo Michaelidou said she was deeply concerned because a minor was also at the scene.

The abuse was filmed by the victim, Svetlana Zaitseva, who uploaded it to social media. In the video she was called derogatory names and threatened with court action after she said she recorded the women’s car allegedly hitting a parked car and trying to flee the scene when they thought no one was looking.

Michaelidou said the presence of the child, a boy of around 10, made it even more important to take appropriate measures to protect his privacy.

“It is an inalienable right of the child to protect his or her personal data and privacy, so the way in which this incident is publicised needs special attention. Therefore, the commissioner calls on all responsible persons to take appropriate measures to safeguard the privacy of the child, even after the event,” she said.

Speaking on state radio, police spokesman Christos Andreou, also commented on the issue of privacy since the material was posted in the public domain, saying that more investigations will be carried out in the next few days.

All four women involved in Saturday’s incident were questioned by police on Sunday.

The owner of the car that was damaged in the car park has also given a statement.

The three Greek Cypriot women reported Zaitseva for violating their personal data by publishing the video.

Reports said one of them, a teacher, has already been sacked by the private institute she worked for and has since suffered a nervous breakdown.

The privacy element has brought to the fore the Ayia Napa rape case and the difference in police handling of both cases.

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