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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE Expert Prof Aebi to EF on Penal Stats: Turkish Prison rate Booms, Supervision Grows, Cost Enigma

CoE Expert Prof Aebi to EF on Penal Stats: Turkish Prison rate Booms, Supervision Grows, Cost Enigma

Geschrieben von ACM
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- From the Data and the Replies given to Questions raised by "Eurofora" and/or Other Journalists during a Press Briefing at the CoE in Strasbourg by CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, Professor Marcelo Aebi from Lausanne University, Switzerland, on the Latest Annual Stats about Prisons and Alternative Supervision Measures, several, more or less UnExpected Realities emerge, revealing some, more or less, Astonishing Trends throughout the PanEuropean area of some 47 Countries (with just a few exceptions, only for this year) :

 

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TURKISH PRISON RATE BOOMS !
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- First of all, even if it was already known that Turkey was one of the Exceptional Cases as far as "Prison Population Rates" (i.e. the Number of Jailed People per 100.000 Inhabitants of a Country) are concerned, given the notoriously "Hot" situation of Human Rights there, Nevertheless, even Experienced Strasbourg Journalists following and publishing for Decades on CoE's activities, were Surprized to Find out that, Nowadays, Turkey has become the Unique Country monitored by the CoE with such a Fast Deterioration during a whole Decade, that its Prison Rates show, by Far, the Highest Increase of all, between 2006-2016 : + 161,7% !  

 

 coe_stats__turkish_prisoners_rate_booms_eurofora_shot_400

 

This is Contrary to the General Trend, which is slightly in Favor of Decreasing that Rate in 19 Countries, opposed to 18, during that Same Period. And it repesents a Very Exceptionaly Big Increase Compared to All Others : F.ex. nearly X 3 Times More than the Next Increasing National Rates, as that of Albania (+66%), etc.  (See relevant Graphic).

Moreover, the Full Extent of that Phenomenon has Not Yet been Officially Registered and Compared, Because, curiously, the Data concerning that Notorious Huge "Tsunami" of Massive Arrests of more than +150.000 Dissident People Jailed in Turkey, sooner of later, particularly After that Strange, Short-Lived : 6 Hours-Long alleged "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, was Not yet Included in these CoE's Statistics, for "Technical" Reasons, as Professor Aebi replied to a relevant question by a Turkish Collegue... Indeed, that "Trend" towards an Exceptionaly Big Increase of ImPrisonment's Rate was steadily Going-on, all-along that Latest Decade, he observed.


+ In Addition, Turkey has also the Fewer Short Duration Sentences imposed to Prisoners (Less than 3 Years : Only 7,4% in cumulative Percentage, But the Biggest such percentage of LONGER IMPRISONMENT Sentences : 3 to 10 Years or more, (being Bypassed, nevertheless, just by Moldova concerning 3 to 5 Years Jail terms : 88% compared to 82,6% in cumulative Percentage, as well as, Surprizingly : by ...Greece, concerning 5 to 9, and 10 or more Years : Respectively 76,5% and 50,1%, compared to 70,3% and 44,9% in cumulative Percentages of Imposed Sentences).


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"ALTERNATIVE", SUPERVISION MEASURES GROW TOO MUCH...
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However, in most European Countries, an Initial Push towards "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment, Risks to become even a "Supplemetary Sanction", considering, particularly, the Fact that it has "Grown" too much, Recently, going so Far as even to Bypass the Number of Imprisonments :


- F.ex., already on September 2016 there were 1.505.187 Inmates, but More persons Condemned to be "Supervised" by "Agencies" in charge of so-called "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment : 1.628.016, according to CoE's newest available Data.


+ Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, Professr Aebi clarified that such "Alternatives" to Imprisonment or "Supervision" Measures concern, in real Practice,  a Large Variety of Concrete Techniques and/or Methods, Nowadays :


- F.ex., in Addition to Electronic Tagging ("Bracelet Eletronic" in French), they Include also "Community Serving" sanctions, (f.ex. Work for General Interest Tasks), Monitoring by Phone-Calls, Obligations to Visit Regularly the closest Police Offices, "House Arrest", Confiscation of Travel Documents (as Passports), etc...

- But "No" Electronic "Chips"' Implants, CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, clearly Excluded.


=> Could, such "Monitoring" Measures, and their Bigger than Expected Growth, eventually hide also a Risk for a Trend towards a Dangerously Wide-Spread "Supervision" of too Many People by certain "Agencies", sometimes even with more or less Controversial Methods ?


Professor Aebi's alert, seems, apparently, to Warn about an eventual such risk, in the foreseable Future.


However, a French Collegue Journalist, smiling bitterly, observed to "Eurofora" :  - "In Fact, something like that, has almost started to exist, in real practice, in one way or another, for ...All of Us !"... And she Noded affirmatively, when, in response, we pointed, half-joking, half-seriously, inter alia, simply ...Our "Smart-Phones" !

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IMPRISONMENT COSTS' ENIGMA...
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 + Last, but not least, concerning the Material Conditions of "Life in Prisons", "Eurofora" also Questioned the CoE's Top Expert about his Team's astonishing Findings that, in fact, the Amounts of Money spent by 1 Prisoner/Day ranged, already as early as since 2016, from about 6 € (in Moldova), up to ... 359 € (in Sweden) :


 =>  i.e. a Difference of More than X 600 %, (= almost X 60 Times more, or less), from one European Country to anOther !


 - A Volume Level which is, obviously, Much Bigger even than the Differences between the Lower permitted Salaries ("SMIG" in France) throughout Various EU Countries :


=> Which are, Already, Too HIgh : F.ex., "only", about 500 €, compared to almost 1.5OO € per Month, i.e. a Difference of some X 3 Times Bigger Minimum Salary, (naturally indicating also, at least Partly, the general Cost of Everyday Life in a given Country), as "Eufora" reminded, withOut being bellied at all...


 - Why ?


 - Professor Aebi Replied, mainly, that the above-mentioned, much Bigger Difference in Costs (Comp. Supra), should, probably, be due to the Fact that, particularly several "Scandinavian Countries", (such as Sweden, etc), would have much "More Social Security" mechanisms than Other EU Countries, etc.


+ But also, probably, to the Additional Fact  that, mostly these Same "Nordic" Countries, use to "Invest More" in various "Infrastructures, Staff", etc., concerning also Prisons, while, almost at the Same Time, their Occupancy is much "Lower" than in Other EU Countries, as he added.


Indeed, - to take the Same Examples cited Above - in Moldova, the "Ratio of Inmates per total Custodial Staff" was, f.ex., on 2016, the Biggest of all in Europe : 9,9. While, on the Contrary, that of Sweden was one among the Lowest : Only 1,3 !


Such a Reasoning seems also Proven (almost "Ad Absurdum") in the particular Case of ... San Marino : Having Only such a "Ratio" of just 0,4, (i.e. : the Lowest of all), it was Registered as if it Spended, in Fact, an "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" of as much as 707,92 € ...     

 
However, there are also Various Other European Countries, which have also Low "Ratios of Inmates per ... Custodial Staff", (such as, f.ex., Monaco, with Only such a Ratio Prisoner/Staff as 0,9, and Ireland, with 1,6 added to Cyprus with just 1,8, which doN't Spend more than ...81 €, 188 €, or 73,5 €, Respectively, in their "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" on 2016...


=> Thus, it seems that there might, perhaps, be added also some Other Factors, in order to produce those Astonishingly Different Prison Costs per Inmate, already cited above.


Indeed, (Reacted in fine Professor Aebi, to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Factual Observations), to put it in a NutShell, it all looks as that Film by Michael Moore, called  : - "Who to Invade Next ?", which, naturally, points towards Countries such as Norway !...


(../..)


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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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