Uploaded on Mar 7, 2008
Relatives of missing in call to Brown
Cyprus Weekly 7/8/2007
THE Organisation of Relatives of Missing Cypriots (UK) has called on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to demand that Turkey fully complies with the judgment of the European Court of Human rights which found it guilty of violating the right to life and liberty of Cypriots regarded as missing persons since its illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974.
In a petition to the PM, signed by more than 16,700 people, the relatives note that Turkey ignores UN, EU and Council of Europe resolutions calling for an end to this humanitarian problem.
The relatives call on Brown to "demand of Turkey that it comply fully with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which found it guilty of violating the right to life and liberty of Cypriots regarded as missing persons since its illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974 and for violating the right of their relatives not to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment, whilst searching for news of their loved ones".
Stressing that "over fourteen hundred people are still missing", the committee highlights that many were soldiers and others were civilians: men, women and children, who were rounded up by the Turkish army from their own homes and villages but never released.
"Turkey ignores UN, EU and Council of Europe resolutions calling for an end to this humanitarian problem. Refuses even to comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (Appl. No; 25781/94-10 May 2001) and interim resolutions by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe backing the Court's decision", the relatives remarked in their petition.
In a letter to the PM, the President of the organisation Nick Neocleous said that "in the recent months the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus has been reactivated under the aegis of the UN Secretary-General, and progress, albeit slow, has been made with exhumation and identification of remains of both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Missing Persons. This progress was achieved through the constructive cooperation of both communities on this purely humanitarian issue".
"We do consider this development as a step in the right direction. However, the effective investigations demanded by the ECHR judgment cannot be limited to exhumations, and the investigations cannot be limited only in Cyprus. Turkey must provide information about the fate of all those who disappeared following their arrest by the Turkish army, many of them subsequently been removed to Turkey as can be certified by international organisations such as the ICRC, who interview them", he said.
The petition calls on Turkey to also provide information on the fate and whereabouts of as many as thirty children that were abducted during the invasion but were never released. One such case is of Christakis Georgiou, aged five at the time, for whom recent evidence (a Turkish army memorandum) clearly indicate that he was moved to Turkey for hospital treatment, but as yet his family do not know his fate.
"The problem of Missing Persons of Cyprus, as a direct result of the Turkish invasion, cannot conclusively be resolved without the cooperation of the Turkish Government", Neocleous remarked and expressed the hope that the PM and "our UK Government, would be sensitive to our pain and agony, and will adopt the necessary policies towards the Turkish Government, so that it can be persuaded to provide the long overdue answers, by initiating appropriate investigations as demanded by the Court, without any further delay"
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