Written evidence submitted by Organisation
of Relatives of Missing Cypriots (UK)
We note with great interest your decision to
conduct an inquiry into UK policy towards Cyprus, in the light
of recent developments.
The issue of the missing people of Cyprus represents
one of the most significant violations of Human Rights in recent
history. It has been the subject of several UN Resolutions. The
Committee of Missing Persons was set up by the UN in 1981 in order
to facilitate a solution, but failed so far. The 1997 Agreement
on the missing between Mr Clerides and Mr Denktashh has not been
implemented. The decision of the European Court of Human Rights
of 2001 has not been implemented. Despite the fact that this issue
has been conclusively documented by no less an authority than
the International Red Cross, all efforts to solve this tragic
problem have so far been unsuccessful because:
1. Turkey does not co-operate and instead
continues to insist on the application of a methodology that the
presumption of death is the solution, rather than a solution based
on humanitarian principles.
2. Some powerful international governments
not only have they turned a blind eye to Turkey's human rights
violations and deficiencies, but are actually aiding her in its
efforts to avoid responsibility.
It is fair to say, on the other hand, that the
Government of Cyprus has done everything in its power to help
achieve a solution to the tragic problem of the missing, including
unilateral steps on exhumations and identifications, which were
started in 1999 and are still continuing, as well as the establishment
of a DNA Data Bank for missing Turkish Cypriots.
We urge the Honourable Members to consider their
responsibilities towards the Cypriot people, including the missing
and their families.
The Greek Cypriots including the relatives of
the missing, more than everybody want a solution since they are
the ones with most to lose in its absence, but they want a solution
based on fairness, justice, complete freedom and Human Rights
and, a genuine reunification of the island.
Yes, the UK policy towards Cyprus ought to change.
It ought to become fair and honest. It ought to espouse the principles
of international law and justice and apply its considerable influence
towards the implementation of human rights.
President, Organisation of Relatives of Missing Cypriots
13 September 2004