Four prominent experts in forensic and identification sciences visited the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) from 7 to 10 January 2019 where they completed an assessment of the work of CMP’s genetic and identification teams as well as the archaeologist team and commended the work of the CMP.
The experts were in Cyprus at the request of the three CMP Members, a CMP press release said Friday.
Dr. Mercedes Salado, Identification Coordinator with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), a humanitarian and scientific NGO that applies forensic anthropology and archaeology to the investigation of human rights violations in Argentina and worldwide, and Member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Forensic Advisory Board, commented that “all previous recommendations made in recent years to the CMP have been successfully implemented by the forensic team.”
Dr. Lourdes Prieto, Vice President of the Spanish and Portuguese Society of Forensic Geneticists in Madrid, Spain, was impressed to see the application of high standards in the analysis of complex cases at CMP’s laboratory in Nicosia.
While emphasizing the importance of continuing to maintain the highest standards in the identification process of missing persons, Dr. Luis Fondebrider, the Director-General of EAAF stated that “with the increasing difficulty to find human remains, the investigation phase is going to play a critical role for CMP in coming years”.
The international forensic expert and former CMP Identification Coordinator Dr. Maria Morcillo noted that CMP’s impressive implementation of international standards in the field of missing persons is globally recognized and referenced in many countries facing similar challenges.
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.