Cyprus Mail

Nearly half of relatives believe Missing could still be alive

Scientists studying the remains of missing persons

Forty per cent of relatives of the Missing still believe that their loved ones could be alive decades after the events of 1974 and the 1960s, a new report conducted by the committee for missing persons (CMP) has revealed.

The report, conducted by the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP) and the international committee of the Red Cross between October 2018 and April 2019, was based on the input of 170 relatives of missing persons from both communities, a representative sample of the sum of 934 families who have yet to receive a conclusive answer regarding the fate of their missing relatives.

According to the report, 91 per cent of the participants are still seeking answers over what happened to their loved ones and request that their remains are found and returned for burial.

But for 40 per cent of the relatives, the uncertainty over the fate of missing persons has meant they believe that their family members could still be alive and living somewhere else.

Sixty per cent requested that authorities make public appeals for information regarding open cases of missing persons so as not to lose vital details, while 57 per cent expressed the need for greater acknowledgement by political leaders over the constant struggle to find the location of missing persons.

Family members of missing persons also referred to undergoing significant psychological and financial difficulties as a result of their missing relative.

Specifically, 53 per cent said they suffer from psychological difficulties as a result of living between hope and despair, while 29 per cent spoke of constant financial and administrative problems.

The families requested that more attention is given to the well-being of the elderly and female relatives of missing persons.

To tackle the issues, the report suggested the need for measures which will offer relief to all 748 families of Greek Cypriot missing persons and 186 families of Turkish Cypriot missing persons.

A public communication campaign to highlight the humanitarian tragedy of the relatives is also necessary, the report said.

The report also acknowledged the need to make available a mechanism of broad psychological support on a personal and group level for relatives of missing persons.

The financial and administrative challenges of the families should also be recorded, the report said, but noted that it is also necessary to raise awareness among family members regarding their rights and eligibility for access to relevant services and government benefits.


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