The European Court of Human Rights ordered on Tuesday the Republic of Cyprus to pay around 60,000 euro for non-pecuniary damage to the applicants in the Vassiliou and Others v. Cyprus case.
In a press release, the ECHR says that the case concerns the State’s responsibility for the applicants’ distress between the disappearance of a relative of them during the Turkish invasion in 1974 and his identification 26 years later.
It says that the applicants, Georgia Vassiliou, Vassilis Vassiliou, Maria Vassiliou, and Antonia Kyriakou, are Cypriot nationals who were born in 1945, 1968, 1967 and 1973 respectively. The applicants are the wife and children of a Greek Cypriot reservist who had gone missing in action during the 1974 Turkish invasion.
It adds that it was discovered 26 years later that he had been executed by Turkish troops and buried as ‘unknown’ in Cypriot-controlled territory. The Cypriot authorities identified and returned the body to his family in 2000.
Relying on Article 2 (right to life/investigation) and Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), the applicants allege that the State failed to effectively investigate and provide them with information on what had happened to their missing relative, and that such prolonged uncertainty had caused them anguish, the press release says.
The Court unanimously holds that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention, that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention and that there has been no violation of Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 8.
It holds that the respondent State is to pay, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts:to Ms Georgia Vassiliou: EUR 18,000 (eighteen thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to Mr Vassilis Vassiliou: EUR 9,000 (nine thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to Ms Maria Vassiliou: EUR 9,000 (nine thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to Ms Antonia Vassiliou: EUR 9,000 (nine thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage and to all the applicants jointly: EUR 14,356.82 (fourteen thousand three hundred and fifty-six euros and eighty-two cents), plus any value-added tax that may be chargeable to them, in respect of costs and expenses.
Finally, it dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.