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Media Watch 2005

25 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 25 March 2005.
Shame on you [Kofi Annan]
"The highly unsatisfactory approach by the UN Secretariat to the human rights situation in Cyprus and the whitewash of Turkey's guilt in this connection, is underlined vividly by the first ever report on Cyprus by the UN Human Rights Commission... after the very strong plea by Kofi Annan to the United Nations to make respect for human rights one of its main priorities. Annan's plea, and his failure to practice what he preaches in the case of Cyprus... comes as further proof of the deliberate effort by the UN secretariat to absolve Turkey of any blame, or involvement in the continuing gross violation of human rights in Cyprus."

The highly unsatisfactory approach by the UN Secretariat to the human rights situation in Cyprus and the whitewash of Turkey's guilt in this connection, is underlined vividly by the first ever report on Cyprus by the UN Human Rights Commission.

This report was released yesterday, after the very strong plea by Kofi Annan to the United Nations to make respect for human rights one of its main priorities. Annan's plea, and his failure to practice what he preaches in the case of Cyprus, is referred to in the article on this page.

As if Annan's own shortcomings in this respect were not enough, the report by the UN Human Rights Commission comes as further proof of the deliberate effort by the UN secretariat to absolve Turkey of any blame, or involvement in the continuing gross violation of human rights in Cyprus.

This report avoids any reference to the Turkish invasion, the continuing occupation of north Cyprus and the consequent ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot population of the north, or to the fact that Turkey has been found guilty by the Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe of violating the rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees, and what is more, that it refuses to obey the Court's order to restore the rights of these refugees by allowing them to return and to repossess their properties.

As if this was not enough the report also avoids any reference to the violation of the Geneva Conventions by Turkey through the introduction of more than one hundred thousand mainland settlers to the occupied north of the island to replace the expelled Greek Cypriots, a development that in addition to constituting a gross violation of human rights, is also a war crime.

Surely the government needs to lodge a strong protest over this deliberately misleading report, with the conclusion that "shame on you,'' is the only possible response to its authors."