Remains of missing persons in landfill in occupied Dikomo can be exhumed, according to expert, CNA 12/4/2022
The remains of missing persons believed to be buried in a landfill in occupied Dikomo can be exhumed, a report prepared by a Portuguese expert says.
The report has been discussed in a parliamentary committee on Refugees in a closed hearing on Tuesday, where it was stated that the whole issue will proceed with a specific study on the timeframe and costs for the exhumation work.
The Committee discussed the developments with regard to the fate of 70 missing persons from the village of Ashia whose bodies were buried in water wells and later relocated in the landfill in occupied Dikomo, which has been revamped with EU funds.
Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou said in statements after the meeting, that the information was received in 2019 by a Turkish Cypriot who said that the remains of the persons who went missing in Ornithi were relocated in the old landfill in Dikomo.
On the request by the families of the missing persons of Ashia that the total 2,500 remains which have been located during excavations in two water wells in Ornithi and have not been identified should be send to the scientific lab in America, Photiou said the Republic of Cyprus is willing to cover the costs which has been estimated to around €1 million so the effort would come to fruition.
Photiou expressed concern over the “poor results” in the search for missing persons of the 1974 Turkish invasion, placing the blame on the “intransigent stance of Turkey which continues to see the issue of the missing persons in an inhumane manner.”
He reiterated that the majority of mass graves which have been located and excavated “have been subject to deliberate intervention from the Turkish military and the remains were relocated in burial sites which are unknown to us.”
He added that the Greek Cypriot side is searching for 750 Greek Cypriot missing persons, noting that “the overwhelming majority of these missing persons resulted from these relocations.”
“I believe that this double crime is not an act or an individual initiative, it was a deliberate, organised policy by the occupying force to destroy the evidence and proof documenting its crime,” Photiou said.
On his part, MP Nicos Kettiros, President of the Parliamentary Committee, said that there are difficulties associated with the excavation work in Dikomo, adding that a permit may be needed for the excavation.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
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.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY