NewsLocalAchilleas Demetriades: Truth is the only way to move forward

Achilleas Demetriades: Truth is the only way to move forward

Independent presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades who was one of the speakers at the recent Cyprus Forum conference in Nicosia presented his proposal for the establishment of a “Truth Commission” in Cyprus.

Demetriades referred to recent historical events in Cyprus to note the need for a Commission here, especially after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the intercommunal troubles of 1963-64.

To date, the fate of 775 Greek Cypriots and 200 Turkish Cypriots remains unknown. The relatives of the missing have the right to know what happened to their loved ones.

He proposed that a Truth Commission be set up in Cyprus modelled on that of Nelson Mandela, by changing the terms of reference of the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) which for years now has been carrying out exhumations and identifications of remains found both sides of the ceasefire line.

Achilleas 1
Achilleas 1

The law must also be amended to ensure that any evidence given to the Commission cannot be used in any criminal, civil or administrative procedure in court.

There must be a balance between peace and justice, so that society can move forward.

The goal is to establish the truth, not mete out punishment. Therefore, the Commission’s internal regulations should ensure that in exchange for truth and remorse, there can be immunity, something which was already agreed between the leaders of the two communities as far back in 1990.

Demetriades expressed the conviction that the establishment of a Truth Commission could contribute to entrenching a climate of trust between the two communities and by extension, a new effort to relaunch negotiations for an overall settlement of the Cyprus issue.

“The Truth Commission is the seed of peace. Let’s plant it and watch it grow,” he concluded.

Cyprus deserves better, he stressed.

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