CMP: Misidentifications of remains of two Greek Cypriots not under our responsibility

Misidentifications of remains of two Greek Cypriot missing persons were not “under CMP Responsibility,” says the Committee on Missing Persons in a press release issued here on Friday.

CMP in its press release says that on 16 February, Cypriot media widely reported on the misidentification of the remains of two Greek Cypriots that were carried out in 2005 under a programme by the Greek Cypriot authorities in cooperation with the Cyprus Institute for Neurology and Genetics (CING) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

One media outlet misleadingly illustrated their reporting on this discovery with a photograph of the CMP laboratory, the press release adds.

The CMP would like to emphasize that these mis-identifications were not carried out by the CMP but were part of a programme conducted by the Greek Cypriot authorities prior to the initiation, in 2006, of the CMP effort to locate, exhume and identify 2003 missing persons from both communities. These misidentifications have come to light as the result of recent identifications by the CMP of the correct remains of the two persons that had been exhumed by the CMP, the press release points out.

Yesterday the Cyprus Government clarified that the remains of 15 Greek Cypriots and Greek nationals were taken to the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) between 2004-2005 and after the identification process, remains were returned to six families.

The CING informed that 15 cases were considered uncertain and, in a letter, outlined the reasons that lead to its conclusions. The relatives of the missing in Cyprus and Greece were informed by a CING representative in the presence of a representative of the Missing Persons Office the reasons that the identifications were considered uncertain.

The Government also said that the recent press reports concern two of the 15 cases and the families have already been informed.

Hundreds of Greek Cypriots went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, most of them combatants but also women, children and elderly people. During the same period and in the early 1960 when intercommunal fighting broke out Turkish Cypriots went missing too.

The CMP, comprising one representative from each community on the island and a UN representative, was set up in the early 1980s with a view to locate, unearth and return remains of persons whose fate has been unaccounted for to their next of kin.

Source: Cyprus News Agency