A British teenager, who claimed she was gang raped in Ayia Napa, has been held in prison after police forced her to retract the allegations, a UK legal group has said.

According to messages Justice Abroad said were published in media reports, the 19-year-old woman said officers forced her to sign documents, thought to be a confession, and threatened to arrest her friends if she refused.

Previous reports said the teenager had changed her story and told police she had made up the claims.

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The teenagers she alleged raped her appeared in court, but five members of the group have since returned home to Israel.

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In a statement, Justice Abroad, who are supporting the teenager, said: “Reports by the Cypriot police that the teenager has voluntarily recanted her rape allegation are denied by the family.

“According to the family members, what in fact occurred, was that the teenager was taken by the Cypriot police to the police station at around 6.30pm whilst on medications.

“She was asked to provide a further statement in regard to the rape allegations.

The suspects were at court for a remand hearing conducted behind closed doors
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The suspects appeared in court but some have since been released

“After providing a further written statement, the police officer told her that he believed that she was lying about the allegations and that he wanted to help her.”

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Justice Abroad added that the woman was denied a lawyer by Cypriot police, against the country’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

“At this stage the teenager became very distressed and stated ‘you have to be f****** joking’ before leaving the room crying,” the Justice Abroad statement continued.

“Upon returning to the room she was threatened to be charged with ‘swearing at a police officer’.

“Further pressure was placed upon her to write the confession despite her stating that she did not want to.”

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Justice Abroad says the woman eventually signed the documents at 2.30am, after eight hours at the station, on the promise she could return to her hotel.

“The family’s position is that the confession was obtained under oppression given the threats made to the teenager,” the statement said.

Cypriot police have denied officers had coerced the woman into giving a confession.

An official told The Telegraph: “This is not true. The statement was taken legally. Obviously, they will present their position in court and have the right to do so.”

Sky News has contacted police for a response.

The Foreign Office has not yet commented on the allegations by Justice Abroad.

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