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THE HUMAN Rights Subcommittee of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly yesterday met at Le Meridien in Limassol. The meeting focused on the missing persons from the 1974 Turkish invasion and was addressed by House President Marios Garoyian and MP Christos Pourgourides who represents Cyprus on the subcommittee.

“Turkey has a clear obligation to give sufficient explanations on the fate of the missing persons taken to Turkey as prisoners of war and make gestures of goodwill that show that it has actually started to act like a European country,” said Garoyian at the meeting.

Garoyian also referred to the work done by the Missing Persons Committee set up in 2004. As part of its mission to determine what happened with the missing persons, the committee commissioned the opening of mass graves of Greek and Turkish Cypriots and has been performing DNA tests to identify remains.

“The drama and agony of several families has not ended as they are deprived by the occupying force the right to know the conditions of the disappearances, but also the way with which their loved ones were murdered,” he said.

The meeting’s agenda included a discussion of the issue of enforced disappearances as a follow-up to Resolution 1463 (2005). Discussion participants included representatives of Greek and Turkish Cypriot associations of families of missing persons, Dave Hardy, Coordinator of the Utrecht-based International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances, Aim for Human Rights, and Federico Andreu-Guzman, General Counsel of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

By Anna Hassapi, Cyprus Mail, November 25, 2008|||Human Rights subcommittee tackles missing persons issue
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