More than £80,000 has been raised to help a British woman found guilty of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus.
The GoFundMe page was set up by British lawyer John Hobbs in August to help the 19-year-old raise funds for legal representation.
The young woman had said she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the town of Ayia Napa on 17 July.
But she was charged after she signed a retraction statement 10 days after the incident.
In court, she claimed Cypriot police pressured her to change her account of what happened but she was convicted of public mischief.
The men arrested at the time, who were aged between 15 and 20, were freed.
She is going to appeal against the ruling.
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The girl’s mother has said she supports calls for a tourist boycott of the country after the hashtag #BoycottCyprus started circulating on Twitter.
She told the BBC’s Today programme: “The place isn’t safe – it is absolutely not safe.
“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.”
The Foreign Office has said it has raised concerns at an “official level” with the authorities in Cyprus, after previously saying it was “seriously concerned about the fair trial guarantees” involved in the case.
Lawyers and campaigners have also spoken out about the case and criticised the Cypriot justice system after Monday’s conviction.
The teenager had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the doctor who made the diagnosis argued that the trial did not take that into consideration.
Dr Christine Tizzard told The Guardian: “Aside the fact it hasn’t been fully represented, it means she’s been unable to get the treatment she so sorely needs and every day she’s not having treatment the worse it gets.”
The Cypriot government has been defending itself, saying: “The Republic of Cyprus as an orderly state has constitutionally established institutions and separation of powers.
“In this context, the government does not intervene in cases brought before the competent courts of the Republic of Cyprus, nor does it comment on positions or allegations which are raised with respect to cases still pending before the courts.
“The government has full confidence in the justice system and the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, which should be left unfettered to implement state laws and deliver justice.”
Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said he believed the woman had made false allegations because she felt “embarrassed” after realising she had been filmed having sex in a video found on some of the Israelis’ mobile phones.
“There was no rape, or violence, and police had carried out a thorough investigation making all necessary arrests.”
The woman could face up to a year in jail and a 1,700 euro (£1,500) fine when she is sentenced on 7 January.
Source : Sky News