Truth and closure in Cyprus: an assessment of the committee on missing persons

Nasia Hadjigeorgiou (UClan Cyprus)
Publication Year
Europe and Central Asia
Thematic Area
Families / Forensics
Burial Site / Mass Grave / Family Needs / Identification / Right to Know/Truth
Open access

There are two key limitations to the literature that explores the relationship between truth and closure in post-violence societies. The first is that this relationship has been assessed mostly as part of a larger debate focusing on the links between the truth and the seemingly related concept of reconciliation. The second is that to the extent that the literature has addressed the connections between truth and closure as such, it has focused almost exclusively on the operations and effects of courts and truth commissions. The article addresses both limitations by examining the relationship between truth and closure through the prism of a different institution, the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus. Relying on 34 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, including relatives of missing persons on the island, it argues that the Committee’s delivery of the truth has promoted closure in three distinct ways. At the same time it acknowledges that the type of truth and the way in which it is delivered can have detrimental consequences for the promotion of closure. A short video summarising the findings of this article is available here.