Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou announced, on Monday, in the context of the government policy on transparency, that the families of missing persons in Cyprus will be given, at their request, a detailed forensic report.
Photiou was speaking after he signed on behalf of the Republic an agreement with the Νational and Kapodistrian University of Athens to conduct anthropological and forensic tests on remains or partial remains of missing and fallen persons identified through the DNA method.
Established government policy dictates that missing and fallen persons families have every right, on the basis of international law and international conventions to be informed with convincing evidence and full transparency of the truth and the conditions which led to the death of their loved ones, he said.
“In the context of this policy on full transparency and truth, it has been decided that together with identified remains families will be given a detailed forensic report which will include scientific findings relating to the conditions and the cause of death of each missing person,” he explained.
Photiou further clarified that the forensic report will be prepared and handed over following a relevant request by the family. He also said that the forensic report concerns Greek Cypriot and Greek nationals.
The agreement signed with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, he noted, will serve this purpose, adding at the same time that forensic examinations will take place in Cyprus.
On her part, head of the University`s Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Chara Spiliopoulou, spoke of the great respect she has for the missing persons and their families and said that it is an honour to undertake this duty. She assured on behalf of herself and her colleagues, forensic scientists and anthropologists that “we will do what our science requires of us, bearing in mind our national, moral and sentimental aspect of our mission.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.
The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a Third Member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.