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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the mass graves of the Missing Persons of Ashia, at Ornithi village in the occupied part of Cyprus

10.2.2015 - (2015/2551(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Ska Keller, Ernest Urtasun, Davor Škrlec on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0150/2015

Procedura : 2015/2551(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
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European Parliament resolution on the mass graves of the Missing Persons of Ashia, at Ornithi village in the occupied part of Cyprus


The European Parliament,


-         having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey,


- having regard to its resolutions of 15 March 2007 and 18 June 2008 on missing persons in Cyprus,


- Having regard to the declaration of the European Parliament of 9 June 2011 on the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus,

- having regard to the relevant reports of the United Nations Secretary-General, resolutions of

the United Nations Security Council and international initiatives taken to investigate the fate

of missing persons in Cyprus,


- having regard to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of 10 May

            2001 and 10 January 2008 concerning missing persons in Cyprus and the 12 May 2014

Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Cyprus v. Turkey,


- having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs



-          having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.       whereas the question of missing persons in Cyprus is still an open wound that needs to be healed in order to lay down the basis for a genuine reconciliation between the parties and pave the way for a lasting and comprehensive settlement of the conflict in the island; whereas there were approximately 2000 missing persons from both communities whose fate is unknown,


B. whereas on the 14th of August 1974 the village of Ashia was bombarded by Turkish air forces; whereas on the 21st of August enforced mass evacuations were conducted by the Turkish army, whereas final expulsion of all the inhabitants of the village took place on the 28th of August; whereas in total 106 individuals went missing since 1974,


C.        whereas in the spring of 2009, the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) conducted a search in the Ornithi area, a village situated 4 km west of Ashia village; whereas four burial sites were disinterred, two water wells and the sites of mass graves; whereas the remains identified by DNA testing have confirmed that they belonged to the list of 70 civilians who went missing in Ashia on the 21st of August as stated above,

D.       whereas evidence suggests that that the two mass graves had been previously exhumed and the remains found were removed and transferred elsewhere; whereas further efforts must be made to expedite the investigations,

E. whereas the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been, with regard to Greek-

           Cypriot missing persons and their relatives a continuing violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the Convention concerning the failure of the Turkish authorities to conduct an effective

           investigation into the whereabouts and fate of missing persons who

disappeared in life-threatening circumstances, a continuing violation of Article 5 (right to

liberty and security) concerning the failure of Turkey to conduct an effective investigation

into the whereabouts and fate of the missing persons in respect of whom there

was an arguable claim that they were in Turkish custody at the time of their disappearance,

and a continuing violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) in that

the silence of the Turkish authorities in the face of the real concerns of the relatives attained a

level of severity which could only be categorised as inhuman treatment;


F.    Whereas so far, only 9 EU Member States have ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, namely Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain,


1.        Calls on the Turkish Military to immediately provide unhindered access to the areas under their control for further excavations and offer full disclosure and access to their records and archives kept both in Cyprus and in Turkey to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), in order to determine the fate of all persons who are still reported missing;

2.  Condemns the desecration of the bodies of missing persons by unknown officials acting in the northern part of the island and calls for a thorough investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice ;

3.        Underlines that peace needs justice and that the search for truth about the tragic events that led to the disappearance of innocent people is a fundamental element of the reconciliation process between the parties and essential for their families;

4.        Stresses that the work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) depends on the full support and cooperation of all the parties involved and welcomes, in this regard, the funds provided by the EU and calls for their continuation;

5. Calls on Turkey to fully implement all the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights including the ones on missing persons in Cyprus;

6. Urges all EU Member States to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as a matter of priority; calls on the EEAS and the Member States to promote universal ratification and the implementation of this very important human rights instrument and to support the work of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, established under this Convention;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and the Government and Parliament of Turkey.