European Parliament Committee discusses issue of missing persons in Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 27 - The issue of missing persons in Cyprus is to be discussed later today at the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
The discussion will focus on a report on the issue by Ewa Klamt, rapporteur on “missing persons in Cyprus”, whose appointment followed the adoption of a resolution on the matter.
The report was compiled after her visit to Cyprus in early October last year, during which she talked to relatives of missing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
The deadline for proposed amendments to the report is March 5 and the Committee is scheduled to meet on March 26 to vote on the report, which will then go before the plenary of the European Parliament.
A European Parliament resolution, adopted on 13 March 2007, calls on all parties concerned “to cooperate sincerely and honestly on a speedy completion of the appropriate investigations into the fate of all missing persons in Cyprus and to implement fully the relevant European Court for Human Rights judgment in May 2001.”
It also calls on the parties concerned and all those who have or are in a position to have any information or evidence emanating from personal knowledge, archives, battlefield reports or records of detention places to pass it on to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) without further delay.
Another resolution, adopted on 4 April 2007 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, refers to the issue of missing persons, “stressing that the Court noted in particular the continuing absence of effective investigations into the fate of missing Greek Cypriots, as well as the silence of the Turkish authorities in the face of the real concerns of the relatives of missing persons.”
This interim resolution notes with satisfaction that exhumations have been performed all over Cyprus and analysis of remains found is conducted for the purpose of identification of those remains.
It emphasizes the urgency of this issue, welcomes the progress achieved in the work of the CMP and “calls upon Turkey to rapidly provide information on additional measures required to ensure the effective investigations called for by the Court’s judgment.”
The CMP was set up in the early 1980s with a view to help locate persons missing in Cyprus. After years of virtual non-activity, it launched in 2006 an island-wide program of the exhumations, identifications and return of remains, to be carried out by a team of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot archaeologists and anthropologists under the guidance of forensic experts from abroad.