fundamental freedoms of Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern
part of Cyprus
1. The Parliamentary Assembly once again
expresses its serious concern that the island of Cyprus continues to be
rigorously and arbitrarily divided into two parts and that this situation has
lasted for over thirty years without any improvement.
2. All the people living in Cyprus, in the
northern as well as the southern part, have been protected by the European
Convention on Human Rights since the Republic of Cyprus acceded to this
Convention on 6 October 1962.
3. The Assembly agrees with the opinion
expressed by the European Court of Human Rights, clearly stated in its
judgment of 10 May 2001 in the case of Cyprus v. Turkey, that Turkey's
responsibility under the Convention also extends to acts of the Turkish
Cypriot administration: Turkey therefore has a general obligation to secure
respect for the human rights safeguarded by the Convention for all persons
within the territory controlled by the Turkish Cypriot administration.
4. The Assembly is extremely concerned by the
status imposed upon the Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities that have
remained north of the demarcation line and by the resulting violations of
human rights, as established by the European Court of Human Rights in
5. The Assembly none the less welcomes the
recent positive developments in Cyprus, especially the opening of borders and
granting of freedom of movement, which could considerably improve the
situation of the Greek Cypriots and Maronites who have remained north of the
6. The Assembly considers that a general
settlement of the Cypriot conflict should never be achieved at the expense of
the communities that have chosen to stay where they have always resided.
7. The Assembly acknowledges and agrees with
the conclusions of the above-mentioned Cyprus v. Turkey judgment, in which the
European Court of Human Rights established that there had been violations of
the human rights of the Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities living in the
northern part of Cyprus.
8. The Assembly is particularly shocked by
the imposed division of families, the prohibition on young people returning to
their homes, the arbitrary confiscations and expropriations and the general
climate of apprehension and uncertainty, even fear, to which members of these
communities are deliberately subjected.
9. The Assembly insists that the Turkish
Cypriot administration controlling the northern part of Cyprus, as well as
Turkey, which assumes de facto legal co-responsibility in this part of
the island as indicated in paragraph 3 above:
i. cease all humiliation of the Greek and
Maronite communities and put an end to the climate of intimidation;
ii. end the dispossessions affecting
members of these communities by returning to them the property and
possessions of which they have been arbitrarily dispossessed, individually
or collectively, or failing that offer them just compensation;
iii. ensure freedom of education and
worship for Orthodox Christians and Maronites;
iv. end all the restrictions on movements
across the demarcation line and immediately grant Greek Cypriots living in
the northern part of Cyprus at least the same rights as those already
granted to Maronites;
v. grant all inhabitants the right to an
ensure equal access to medical care;
vii. permit the communities to freely
choose their own representatives.
10. The Assembly urges all the
representatives of the civil society of Cyprus, regardless of the community to
which they belong, to do their utmost to bring about a climate of mutual
understanding, of dialogue and of tolerance between the different social,
political, religious, cultural and linguistic constituents present on the
island, whose history shows that they are perfectly capable of living together
in peace and harmony.
Assembly debate on 24 June 2003 (19th Sitting) (see Doc.
9714, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur:
Text adopted by the Assembly
on 24 June 2003 (19th Sitting).