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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Relatives of Missing seek speedier identification ]

Relatives of Missing seek speedier identification

FRESH DEMANDS for the speedier identification of the remains of the Missing were made yesterday by the Committee of Relatives of the Missing.
Relatives are also calling for details of the circumstances surrounding the missing persons’ disappearance to be released.

The demands came at a press conference hosted by the Archbishopric and held on the occasion of the 23rd Marathon of Love for the Missing Persons.
Events, which will be held throughout next week as part of the marathon, include handing over a petition to the UN and the Permanent Members of the Security Council.

“The rate at which identification is progressing is unsatisfactory. At this rate, it will take more than a quarter century before all the missing persons are identified,” said Nicos Theodosiou, president of the Committee of Relatives of the Missing. “Forensics, we understand, are ready to receive more of a workload.”
Theodosiou explained that the Committee viewed the missing persons issue as an autonomous humanitarian issue.

“Of course there are political undertones which can hardly be severed from it, but the basic issue is one of human rights. We have a right to information and a right to truth,” he said. “It’s all well and good that identification may happen, but questions remain. When you hand over the remains to relatives, they want to know why and how their loved ones died. These are real questions which demand answers.”
The Committee is asking for access to the archives of the Turkish prisons and of the Turkish Army so that these questions can be answered Theodosiou said.
In January the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Turkey guilty of violating the human rights of nine people missing since the 1974 invasion, and those of their relatives. Part of the decision averred that Turkey hindered the investigations of the UN-sponsored Committee for Missing Persons.

The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) have so far identified the remains of 83 missing people since its inception 27 years ago.

A total of 1,912 Greek and Turkish Cypriots are still registered missing as a result of intercommunal violence in the 1960s and the Turkish invasion of 1974. The CMP was created in 1981 to establish their fate but was unable to make any progress until last summer when the remains of missing people were first identified and returned to their families for proper burial. After decades of stalemate in the search for the missing, progress is finally being made. There are now around 400 bodies recently unearthed that await identification.
The Committee of Relatives of the Missing yesterday expressed reservation as to Turkey’s co-operation.

“Irrespectively of the reasons which lie behind Turkey’s change of heart regarding the issue, what is crucial is that Turkey proves that it has the intention to co-operate honestly to resolve the issue,” Theodosiou said.

“It is premature to surmise whether there’s been actual progress or not. Until today the Committee for Missing Persons has not begun its main and vital mission: investigation.”

According to the Committee, around 300 remains are being investigated, but it is not certain which of these belong to fallen persons or missing persons.
“Moreover, the fact that they are incomplete and mixed with other remains creates a problem when it comes to handing them over to relatives,” said committee member Xenophon Kallis.



(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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