By Angelos Anastasiou
The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) will commence the procedure to verify a tip by daily Politis regarding a site near occupied Assia, Famagusta, where the remains of dozens of missing Greek Cypriots were allegedly moved and buried in the early 1990s, Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros said on Monday.
The next step, Nestoros said, is to visit the scene with the paper’s journalist, who will point to the exact location. The two men will discuss all available information, and Nestoros will notify his Turkish Cypriot counterpart’s office.
Meanwhile, he noted, his office will prepare a document to be formally submitted to the CMP, asking for the area to be dug up.
“This tip is so important that my desire is to visit the site as soon as possible, so that the document can be submitted within the week,” Nestoros told the Cyprus News Agency.
According to the CMP, 104 missing persons are being sought in the vicinity of Assia, of whom the remains of 80 have already been identified.
Politis’ tip, however, refers to more than 100 other bodies at a site near Assia, where the remains of tens of Greek Cypriot missing persons were moved and buried in the early 1990s.
If proved true, the CMP said, this would corroborate the suspicion that the bones moved did not only come from persons missing in the Assia area.
Three significant points can be deduced from Politis’ tip, Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Fotis Fotiou said.
The first is that the two leaders’ recent plea for information on missing persons (http://cyprus-mail.com/2016/02/10/anastasiades-appeals-information-missing-persons/) has yielded results; the second, that the CMP has an obligation to investigate and ask the Turkish side for information; and the third is the corroboration, if the information proves accurate, that missing persons’ bones were moved.
“We have an obligation to investigate and do whatever is possible to establish its veracity, and this must be done through the CMP,” Fotiou told the CNA.
He added that he discussed the issue with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, with whom he agreed that the government’s position is that the CMP must seek information from the Turkish Cypriot side.
“The tip is very specific, and therefore the other side cannot refuse the investigation,” he said.
“As the Republic of Cyprus, what we are asking for is to do everything that must be done immediately, through the CMP procedure.”
By Angelos Anastasiou