Lack of progress on missing ‘cruel’

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Lack of progress in identifying hundreds of missing persons is cruel and unacceptable; Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou told relatives in Athens.

As he said, “48 years have passed since the dark summer of 1974, and the humanitarian aspect of the problem of our missing persons remains unresolved.”

“It is an inhumane and unacceptable situation that causes untold pain and anguish to thousands of our compatriots in Cyprus and Greece every day,”.

Photiou noted that “of the 1,510 cases of Greek Cypriot and Greek missing persons reported and included in the list of the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus, the remains or individual small bones of only 735 missing persons have been identified.”

“As a result, 775 of our brothers and sisters are still missing.

“Among them, 47 Greeks out of the 77 originally listed”.

He underlined the Republic of Cyprus would continue its persistent efforts to find out the fate of every missing person, as well as its initiatives, in cooperation with the government of Greece, to ensure that families of missing persons receive the treatment they deserve under international law and fundamental human rights.

Cyprus has warned that Turkey’s stance on the issue “seeks to conceal its responsibilities for its barbarity and crimes.”

Photiou stressed that Turkey should assume its responsibilities “especially when these are clearly and absolutely defined by decisions of international organisations such as the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights.”

“We expect especially from the United Nations and the European Union to show the same sensitivity and concern they have recently shown for the missing persons of the war in Ukraine”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its northern territory.

Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

A Committee on Missing Persons was established with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and 1974.