The pace of examination of information to establish the fate of missing persons should be speeded up
Statement by Nikos Kettiros, AKEL MP and President of the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees, Enclaved and Missing Persons and War-stricken people
9 May 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The Parliamentary Committee on Refugees was briefed today on the progress of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), but also on a number of issues concerning the progress of the investigations to determine the fate of the missing persons of Cyprus.
According to the information provided to the Committee, in 2023, excavation has progressed at 37 sites, while work is currently underway at six sites, five in the occupied areas and one in the free areas. More specifically, excavations are taking place in Gypsou, Famagusta, Gerolakkos, Palikythro and Dikomo, while in the free areas, investigations are taking place in Strovolos. The information presented before the Committee is that there are finds in Gypsou, which appear to belong to four individuals.
The issue of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers’ continued monitoring of Turkey’s compliance with ECHR rulings was also raised before the Committee. It was considered important that our diplomatic efforts should continue to prevent the termination of the monitoring.
At the same time, it has been stressed that the pace of examination of information should be accelerated, as there are elderly persons, but also persons whose reports could be used for other missing persons cases if the accuracy of their information is verified immediately. If we wait 5 or 6 years to look at this information these witnesses might not be alive for the agencies to be able to work with them.
In any case, the crucial thing for the process of verifying the fate of our missing persons to proceed quickly and more effectively is to put pressure on Turkey to provide all the information from the Turkish military archives concerning the movement of bones and mass graves.