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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
20.03.18
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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) :

 

coe_press_briefing_on_penal_stats_eurofora_400


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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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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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