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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Committee Top Official Prof Decaux to EF: Investigate Missing People despite Time+Proof Obstacles

UN Committee Top Official Prof Decaux to EF: Investigate Missing People despite Time+Proof Obstacles

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Professor Emmanuel Decaux, of Paris' Pantheon University, an Experienced Member and former President of UNO's Committee on Enforced  Disappearances (CED) at nearby Geneva, speaking to "Eurofora" at the CoE, on the occasion of an International Seminar on such Tragic Issues, co-Organized by UNO, the CoE, and the Foundation René Cassin for Human Rights, Chaired by ECHR's former Long-Time President, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, (Comp. various Costa statements to "Eurofora", f.ex.: at ..., +..., +...., etc), appeared to find that eventual Obstacles to Investigations might be Easier to Tackle, when it comes to Time Deadlines, than when it concerns Destruction of Material Evidence.


Both these Problems appear, particularly, even to one among the Older and World-Famous Cases of Many "Missing" People, with which ECHR and CoE's Committee of Ministers, have been Dealing since Many Years, but withOut, yet, being able to overcome, not even once, the Total Impunity of all those who might be Responsible for More than a Thousand of Enforced Disappearances, because of several practical Obstacles until now :


- Those of Greek Cypriot "Missing" Persons (initially more than 1.689) mainly after the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation since 1974, for which Ankara's  Government has been repeatedly Condemned by the ECHR, but without yet finding Anyone among those Responsible for their Enforced Disappearance, Despite many Years of Efforts to Implement ECHR's Judgements.

 

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President Costa reminded, from the outset, that he had "Presided in the (ECHR's) Grand Chamber case of Varnava v. Turkey", (which, precisely, concerns a great part of those Cyprus' cases).


+ And he Stressed, as a matter of General Principle, that "the Phenomenon of Enforced Disappearances represents one of the Worst Violations of Human Rights, and Spreads in Many parts of the World", while "it may qualify as a "Crime Against Humanity". Nevertheless, "the Number of Disappearances is Currently more Increasing (f.ex. in Mexico, etc), than not", as he observed.


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 - "Eurofora" asked, at First, Professor Decaux, to confirm Whether and How, the UNO's Committed on Enforced Disappearances, (which has Entered into Force only during Recent Years, might, nevertheless, eventually Extend also to some among some among the Older, and Internationaly Famous cases of "Missing" People in Europe, which have already been Judged by ECHR, a Long Time ago, as those, f.ex., of Cyprus, and/or Others, which concern Facts dating at least since the 1970ies.

Just before that, Japan's Consul General and Permanent Observer at the CoE, Takamasa Sato, had told "Eurofora" that his Country was particularly interested also with certain "Missing" Persons' issues, affecting Japanese People, already since the Late 1970ies, allegedly, f.ex. in Northern Corea, etc. And there were also the Notorious Issues concerning certaon Latin American Countries as Argentina, etc., (See Infra).

 - "It's quite Complicated for us (UNO's CED), since there some provisions in the UN Convention according to which the Cases of the Past (i.e. Before its recent Entry into Force, on 2012) are Not Examined, per se", he replied, at first.


 - "Nevertheless, we consider that the Way that a State treats the Past, is an Issue of Today !", he positively stressed.


=> So, when we Examine their National Reports, during the Discussions, we can Raise also such Questions, concerning how they deal with the Past of such Issues, Nowadays, he explained, as far as the followed Practice is concerned.


 - "For the First Time, we had to deal with that on the occasion of Latin America Countries, who are Willing to do so. Because, f.ex., for Argentina this (UNO's Connvention Mechanism) would have No sense if everything Started only After 2012 !", he pointed out.


 - "We (UNO's CED) tried to do alike also with Spain, concerning the Civil War (of 1936), but it was Difficult. And this raises also Questions about How Long in the Past could be we go : F. ex., even Before a Country became UNO's Member ? and/or even Before UNO's Creation ?", etc.


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


 + But, when it came to an even more Specific and Hard Problem, concerning a particular way of Material Evidence Destruction, things appeared even more Difficult :


 - "Eurofora" asked Prof. Decaux whether, according to his Long and World-wide Experience, he had found SImilar Problems Elsewhere, with a particularly Nasty Obstacle recently Denounced in Cyprus, which reportedly Hinders a lot the on-going Investigations on the Fate of the "Missing" People :


It concerns the Fact that, Astonishingly, in too Many Cases, (particularly at the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Turkey's Army since the 1974 Military Invasion), the Remains of a Lot of "Missing" People are Not Intact, Nor Complete, but Often consisting in Bones Broken in Many Small Pieces, or Tiny Fractions of Pieces, which, in Addition, are, in several cases, ... Dispersed throughout various Different Locations ! It's the Infamous Problem of several "Re-Burrials", i.e. of all or Parts of Mass Graves which have, Curiously, been, Afterwards, Transferred Elsewhere, in an apparently Systematic way, with the Result to make even Identifications of the Victims very Difficult, Tricky, if not Impossible, and, a fortiori, Hinder to Find the Truth on what really Happened to them...


=> To the point that, on 2017, even the President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastassiades, was obliged to exceptionally Denounce openly such Strange Practices as "Criminal" !


>>> It was Surprizing for "Eurofora" to Find Today that even Professor Decaux, one among the Rare UN Experts to have a much Longer and Wider Experience than most others, on Issues concerning "Missing" People (Comp. Supra), initially Reacted with Spontaneous Astonishment, as if he had Never Seen such a Problem Before, Anywhere Else in the World...


He knew about cases where Criminals had tried to abuse of various "Acids", and/or to "Throw" the Bones of their Victims "to the Sea", in Lakes or Rivers, etc.  I.e. Methods of Proof Destruction which might be used in Isolated Cases of only 1 or a Few Victims, but, obviously, Not so much when it comes to Big "Mass Graves", as in the case of Cyprus, particularly since 1974.


On the Contrary, at least his first Reaction, when he heard about those Specific Problems, curiously met Several Times, by Investigations on Cyprus' "Missing" People, Professor Decaux acknowledged his Surprize, and was (exceptioally) Unable to mention clearly Other Similar Problems Elsewhere in the World !


- "Except, perhaps, in some cases in the Balkans ?", he Wondered, but withOut being able to even cite one, Neither to clearly and unequivocally confirm that now....

 => Proof that it's, indeed, a Rare Phenomenon ?

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

 

The New President of UNO's CED, Miss Suela Janina, an Experienced Diplomat (who has served also in Brussels on EU issues) from Albania, even if she was initially Scheduled to be the 1st Keynote Speaker, immediatly after the Introductions, nevertheless, curiously went ...Missing, (fortunately only for a Few Hours !), apparently having been Hindered by some Transport and/or other practical Problems, and, therefore, wasn't able to arrive at the CoE in Strasbourg but only very Later.


Thus, Because also of a Press "Black-Out" on the 2nd and 3rd Parts of that Exceptional International Conference, dealing with a particularly "Hot" and Delicate matter of some among the Worst Violations of Human Rights, (and Including, inter alia, also a Confidential Briefing on CoE's Committee of Ministers' on-going work for the Supervision of ECHR Judgements' Execution by the condemned Member States, which Traditionally takes place Behind Closed Doors), "Eurofora" and other Journalists were UnExpectedly Hindered to Interview her, (except from a Short, but Kindly Smiling, Salute when she Arrived, Running to Catch-up with the Time Lost by unknown reasons)...

 

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Cyprus' "Missing" People issues are Scheduled to be Examined by CoE's Committee of Ministers on June 2018, during the Supervision of ECHR Judgements' Implementation by States which have been Condemned for Violations, as, in this case, Turkey.

 

(../..)
 

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(NDLR: + Fast Translation from the Original in French)


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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

buzek_press_a_400

    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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