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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.


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


 - "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)...

 

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

 

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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