Ex-British Soldier Speaks Out About Cyprus Torture Allegations



British forces search a Greek Cypriot man during the island’s 1950 conflict.

British soldiers who spoke out against the torture of Greek-Cypriot detainees during Cyprus‘ independence war “met a wall of hostility and denial” according to a U.K. newspaper report.

According to a Mail on Sunday investigation, one young Grenadier Guards soldier called Jamie Eykyn was on guard duty in Kythrea in 1958 when he heard the screams of suspected EOKA prisoners being abused in custody.

Now aged 79, Eykyn told the newspaper he informed his superior officer, Major Michael Stourton, who was then ostracized by the fellow officers and the military leadership for raising the allegations.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence later censored his testimony, leaving it to be withdrawn from the regiment’s official history.

Far from being an isolated incident, the British military is facing a series of investigations over its troops’ conduct while trying to defeat the EOKA insurgency; 34 Greek Cypriots are currently taking legal action over allegations of mistreatment.

According to the Mail, these allegations include accounts of waterboarding, beatings and rape.

Eykyn told the Mail: “At night, they would put the detainees into a big barn. The interrogation hut was on one side of the barn and it was not under our control. I heard screaming coming from it, and one of my guardsmen did, too.

“It was a terrible sound.”

He added: “Even after all this time, it’s important the record is set straight.”