Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou described the lack of progress on the issue of the identification of the missing persons in Cyprus as cruel and unacceptable, during his address at the Annual General Assembly of the Panhellenic Committee of Parents and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons of the Cyprus Tragedy, held on Sunday, October 2, 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,” he added.
The Presidential Commissioner 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 recorded,” he said.
Photiou underlined that the Republic of Cyprus will 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 the families of missing persons in Cyprus and Greece receive the treatment they deserve in accordance with international law and fundamental human rights.
At the same time, Photiou said that the Republic of Cyprus has warned as regards Turkey’s stance on the issue which is “seeking 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 and institutions 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 for the missing European citizens of Cyprus and Greece the same sensitivity and concern that they have recently shown for the missing persons of the war in Ukraine,” the Presidential Commissioner concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, 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 in 1974.
Source: Cyprus News Agency