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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
27.02.18
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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)...

 

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

 

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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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