Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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08 December 2009
In marking ‘human rights day’ don’t forget Cyprus, Lobby asks
As the world observes “International Human Rights Day,” December 10, to mark the 60th anniversary of the passage of the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Lobby for Cyprus calls attention to the ongoing violation of human rights of Greek Cypriots in the illegally occupied north of the Republic of Cyprus.

London, 8 December 2008 – As the world observes “International Human Rights Day,” December 10, to mark the 60th anniversary of the passage of the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Lobby for Cyprus calls attention to the ongoing violation of human rights of Greek Cypriots in the illegally occupied north of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Since 1974, Turkey has occupied more than thirty-seven per cent of Cyprus,” said Lobby spokesman Theo Theodorou, “during which human-rights violation after violation has been cited and condemned for by world bodies. Turkey has violated a multitude of UN resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council including:

• failing to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus;
• failing to immediately withdraw its occupation forces;
• failing to allow all refugees to return to their homes in conditions of safety;
• failing to stop taking actions which are intended to change the demographic structure of Cyprus;
• failing to account for the 1,619 missing Greek Cypriots illegally detained and murdered by Turkey following its brutal invasion.”

Among the mass violations, Theodorou referred to the denial of the right to access to their properties and villages by the more than 200,000 Greek Cypriots who have fled the north.  “These properties are occupied by Anatolian colonists, of whom there are about 160,000 transported illegally to Cyprus to change its demographic structure,” Theodorou said.  Also, he pointed out the dire status of the 526 (384 Greek Cypriots, 142 Maronites) Cypriots left in the occupied areas.  In September 1974 the number was approximately 20,000 but has dwindled due to Turkey’s efforts to Turkify the occupied areas. Greek Cypriots are living in enclaved communities without proper medical care, without access to education, without clergy.

“It is all well and good for the world to note every individual’s human rights, but it makes a mockery of both the Declaration and the plans for marking its anniversary when blatant violations exist and nothing is done to rectify them,” Theodorou added.

In addition to the Anatolian colonists imported into the illegally-occupied north, to change the demographics if the area in violation of Geneva Accords, Turkey has installed a 43,000-man army of occupation, “which is larger than the American army in Afghanistan,” Theodorou pointed out, and asked, “who is the enemy in Cyprus that demands such a large army?”

Since its 1974 invasion, Turkey is in violation of 24 UN Security Council Resolutions to leave the island and restore control over the whole of the island’s territory to the government of the Republic of Cyprus.  Moreover, in every decision of the European Court of Human Rights, in cases concerning properties in the north, the Court has found for the plaintiff refugees and has fined Turkey heavily.  “Yet, Turkey is still there” Theodorou stated.

“Perhaps, December 10 should be observed as “Lest We Forget Day,” Theodorou suggested.

Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political organisation dedicated to the reunification of the island of Cyprus, through the removal of Turkey’s army, the repatriation of the Anatolian colonists, and the return of all refugees to their homes.

Any enquiries, contact Lobby for Cyprus on tel: 020 8888 2556, or e-mail: admin@lobbyforcyprus.org