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23-03-2018 13:24

Announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the presentation of the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the violation of human rights in Cyprus

United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Kate Gilmore presented during the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the violation of human rights in Cyprus, as a direct consequence of the Turkish military invasion and occupation. Ms Gilmore stated that the persistent division of the island continues to hinder the enjoyment of the human rights for all Cypriots referring inter alia to the right to life and the question of missing persons, freedom of movement and property rights.

In his intervention, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus in Geneva, Ambassador George Kasoulides highlighted Turkey’s gross violations of the fundamental human rights and basic freedoms of all Cypriots. He stressed Turkey’s responsibility as occupying power with regards to the question of missing persons and its organized efforts to change the demographic character of the island. He denounced Turkey’s stance which led to the deadlock of the latest talks in Crans Montana as well as its recent gunboat diplomacy in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. He concluded by reiterating President Anastasiades’ unwavering determination for a settlement to the Cyprus question, which will restore the full enjoyment of human rights by all Cypriots.

Replying to unfounded allegations of the Turkish delegation, the Deputy Permanent Representative, Mr Demetris Samuel, stated that the sole reason for the continued existence of the Cyprus problem is the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974 and the subsequent military occupation, which continues to date. He added that Turkey, with its actions in recent years in Iraq and more recently in Afrin, Syria, has in fact turned into a serial-invader of neighbouring countries.