CMP continues its research into foreign countries and organisations archives to locate information on missing persons

The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) continues its research into the archives of foreign countries and organizations with a view to locate information that could contribute to its efforts to establish the fate of all missing persons.

To this end, the Committee’s archive research team will visit New York on December 3-16 to continue its study into the UN archives that began in May. Moreover, in mid- January 2018 the team will visit London to look into the British state archives, and at the beginning of April 2018 it is expected to visit Geneva to look into the International Red Cross archives.

Moreover, CMP will launch a campaign with signs on the streets, both in the government – controlled and the occupied areas of the island, calling all those who have information about the missing persons to hand them over to the Committee.

CMP Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros told CNA that the Committee’s members visited Vienna last week where they had contacts with Austrian state officials and Geneva where they had contacts with the International Red Cross Archive Department.

Nestoros said that Austria appointed a liaison officer from its Interior Ministry regarding the research into its police archives which are released after 30 years. As regards the Aystrian military archives he said that according to the country’s laws they are released after 50 years.

He noted that CMP will send a new letter to the Defence Ministry of Austria asking it to appoint a liaison officer as well, and to find out if they will give CMP access to the military archives.

As regards the International Red Cross Archives, Nestoros said that the organization told them that the ones regarding the 1963-64 period are more promising than those for 1974.

He said that research into these archives is expected to take place at the beginning of April 2018 and to last for 10 working days.

Nestoros said that all these visits are very important, noting that there is a lot of work that needs to be done. He also said that the British Bases in Cyprus have also appointed a liaison officer as they also have archives.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

According to data published on the CMP website by October 31, 2017, the remains of 635 Greek Cypriots were identified and returned to their families while 875 are still missing.

As regards the Turkish Cypriots, the remains of 197 were identified and returned to their families by October 31, 2017, while 295 are still missing. The number of sites excavated is 1171.

Source: Cyprus News Agency