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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow CoE BioEthics Committee Head Ioan to EF: Plan on New Challenges Mid 2018+Conference asks pub. Debate

CoE BioEthics Committee Head Ioan to EF: Plan on New Challenges Mid 2018+Conference asks pub. Debate

Ecrit par ACM
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong (including Russia) CoE's BioEthics' (CDBI) Committee President, Dr. Beatrice Ioan from Romania, had just spoken to "Eurofora" about her ambitious aim to present, before Summer 2018, an agreed full Plan for Actions to deal with the various big Challenges that Human Rights may face nowadays by Fast-Developing New Bio-Medical Technologies (See Infra), just 1 Day before Strasbourg's Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's competent body was going to have, for the 1st Time in History, a Joint Meeting here, Tomorrow, with Brusssels' Headquartered EU Commission's Group on Ethics in Science and Technology (EGEST), already, relevant Spectacular News suddenly emerged in a way reminding that, in fact, there is No more Time to lose with undue Delays :

 

coes_bioethics_committee_president_dt_ioan_to_eurofora_400 


- From one side, it was just Anounced that anOther New Technique to Manipulate (alias: "Edit") the Human Genome, in a More Precise and Accurate way than the recently Famous "CRISPR-Cas9" method, had been Discovered, as NewsWires published Today. And, from anOther side, a well-informed Expert told "Eurofora" that the UK Authorities had just Authorized, for the 1st Time, the Medically Assisted Births of "5 Babies" with a Controversial Method called "of 3 Parents", (which had Recently been Abused, elsewhere, for an Artificial Birth due to Modify even the Germline of Next Generations, and withOut any Cure Treatment necessity, i.e. something which is Doubly Prohibited in Most European Countries)...


    By another Coincidence, all this Happened at the Conclusion of an Exceptionally Important CoE's PanEuropean/International Conference, during these last 2 Days, here in Strasbourg (24-25 October 2017), with the Participation of CoE, EU, OECD, WHO, UNESCO, and Russian, USA, Japaneese, a.o. Experts, for the 20th Anniversary of the Only Legaly Binding Treaty in the World on Bio-Ethics : CoE's "Oviedo" Convention, on Human Rights and Bio-Medicine (1997-2017), examined from the point of view of Manifold New Challenges raised by the Latest Bio-Technological Developments, meanwhile, and particularly during the Recent Years in that Crucial Field, nowadays Facing very Speed Developments, apparently bringing Both New Hopes for Health, but also Big Dangers for Humanity's foreseeable Future :


    From Genetics/Genome, up to Brain Technologies, as well as Information/Communication and Big Data, etc, this landmark CoE's Internatinal Conference, (very Well Attended by Numerous Medical, Biological, ICT, Robotics, Legal, Ethical, Political, Religious, Philosophical, Economic, Social and Other Actors), Systematically Discussed each Group of relevant New High-Tech, developed during these Last 20 Years, Both for the "Human Righs Challenges raised" by them, and concerning "the Principles at stake", as well as possible and Necessary "Actions to be undertaken", at a European/International level, in order "to Address" these New, and Fast-Moving Issues.


    From the Perspective of an overall Timeline, Few are really Aware of the Fact, that, even CoE's World-Famous, basic and general "Human Rights Convention", which had Entered into Force already, as early as since 1953, (i.e. 64 Years ago), Coincided, indeed, with the Year when the Scientific/Technological Discovery of Human "Genes" and "DNA" was Revealed to the Public, (thanks to a Timely and Symbolic move by the State of Luxembourg, which had Decided to Ratify that CoE's Convention then, as its King, the Grand Duke Henri, recently Reminded at an Official Speech in the ECHR in Strasbourg : Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport from that 2014 event, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/luxembourgkingatthecoe.html). Indeed, several among ECHR's Articles can Help Protect elementary Human Rights even vis a vis eventual Risks in the Bio-Medical field : CoE's Legal Experts have already Analysed Most of them, as such, (f.ex. : Art. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, etc), particularly during Recent Events, but, in fact, with adequate Case-Law Developments, EuroJudges could use, for that purpose, even More ECHR's Articles, as "Eurofora"'s Legal Analysis has found (f.ex. also Art. 1, 4, 9, 12, 14, 17, etc)... It's a Question of Awareness and Political Will, as well as of  appropriate Cases.


    But, when the First Medically Assisted Procreations started, during the 1970ies, and particularly with  "In Vitro Fertilisation" (IVF), as Back from 1978, etc., closely Followed by the International "Human Frontier" project from the 1980ies (HQ in Strasbourg), and, particularly, the "Human Genome Project" from the 1990ies (HQ in the USA+), then, CoE felt the Need to create a New and Specific set of Rules on BioEthics, with the "Human Rights and BioMedicine" Convention, Drafted on 1997 in Strasbourg, and starting to be Signed and Ratified from 1998, in Oviedo (Spain). To which it had to Add, almost Immediately, a First Protocol against Human "Cloning", as Technological Developments, with the notorious "Dolly the Sheep" case in UK's Scotland, had already Threatened to Bypass CoE's Legal Rules, which had to Try to Catch up, at a fast pace...


    Already then, a Big Clash, between those infuenced by UK's "Socialist" Tony Blair's adventurous policies, and those who followed rather Germany's ChristianDemocrat Helmut Kohl's more careful stance, had provoked a First Tremor inside the CoE, as early as since 1997, when Oviedo Treaty's Draft had been Hastily Finalized : This was personally witnessed by "Eurofora"s co-Founder and other European Journalists in Strasbourg, then, with the Exceptional Spectacle of mainly 2 German and 1 Cypriot Experts, Strongly Denouncing, with Loud and unusually Exasperated Declarations to the Medias which were present, their Fear that such a Draft was Not Protecting Sufficiently, but Exposing to Serious potential Dangers, particularly the "Human Embryo", the "Genome", the Fragile People's (such as Children or Elders, Sick or Handicaped, Prisoners, etc) previous, free and informed "Consent", etc !


    This Explains why an Heterogeneous and Sharply Divided Part of CoE's Member Countries have Refused, until now, to sign or to ratify CoE's Oviedo Treaty, Divided between 2 Groups : One, traditionally led by a mainly ChristianDemocrat/EPP (Together, Initially, with the Historic "Greens") then Germany, which did Not Find it Sufficiently Protective for Human Rights, and anOther, led then by Blair's "Socialist" UK, which, on the Contrary, did Not Find it Sufficiently Open to some Controversial Bio-Technologies on Human Beings... To the point that, as Experienced Professor Serrao from Portugal, a Long-Time President of CoE's Group of Experts on Human Embryo, had told to "Eurofora"'s co-Founder, Later-on, it Still Remained "Impossible" to "Find a Common Ground" on such "Hot" Issues between those 2 Groups, even Many Years Afterwards.


    Significantly, Professor Serrao had also Denounced, speaking to "Eurofora"'s co-Founder, the Fact that, Meanwhile, that Interesting CoE's "Working Group" on the Key issue of "Human Embryo'"s protection, was, Later-on, somewhere between 2004 - 2009, surprisingly, even ..."Dissolved" (sic !), as he had told us, during the term in office of former CoE Secretary General, Terry Davis, (another UK "Socialist", of the same political party as Blair, which had remained in Government until 2010)... All this could Explain why, until Now, on 2017, CoE's BioEthical Experts have Only produced some "Additional Protocols" on various Other Specific Issues, such as : "TransPlantation" of Human Organs, "BioMedical Research", "Genetic Tests" (mainly for Insurance Companies, etc), withOut doing alike on the "Hot", Key Issue of Human Embryo, (at least, not yet). F.ex., even concerning "BioMedical Research" (which, notoriously, has as "Hottest" point, its applications on Human Embryos), the Article 2 of the relevant CoE's Additional Protocol, (finalized on 2005), surprisingly states that its Rules do "Not Apply to Research on Embryos in vitro" !...


    >>> It's probably, also Because, Meanwhile, relevant New Bio-Technological Developments have Boomed, between the 1990ies and 2010ies, (while, on the Contrary, the experienced and critical Professor Serrao has Recently "Died", as another Portuguese Expert announced Today, during this October 2017 CoE's Conference !) :


     - Indeed, that Important, above-mentioned "Human Genome Project" (Comp. Supra), was unexpectedly Completed much Faster than scheduled, so that the "Socialists" Anglo-American Leaders Tony Blair and Bill Clinton (as even "Wikipedia" reminds) could Announce, in Public, already as Early as since June 2000, that it had, practically, Reached its main Target, almost 5 Years Earlier than what had been initially foreseen...


    + In Addition, during anOher "Socialist" former US President : Barack Hussein Obama (2009-2017), his First big Decision is to Start by Lifting the Ban of Federal Funds to Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryos, (on the Contrary, established and maintained by most Previous US Presidents, and particulary GWBush : 2001-2009), already as Early as since March 2009 !  


            ++ Moreover, it's, notoriously, also during the "Socialist" Former POTUS Obama's Past term in office, (particularly at his 2nd Mandate : 2012-2016) that Controversial "Same Sex Marriage", (including, even, Submission of Children to the Power of Homosexuals, under Pretext of "'Adoption"), is Systematically imposed, not only inside the USA, but also Pushed and Spread (by US Foreign Policy !) accross Many other Countries Abroad, (f.ex., from France to Ireland, including Attempts even in African Countries, etc), Creating, thus, a Group of Sterile Couples, ready to become Clients of Medically Assisted Procreations by Artificial Means...


    +++ Finally, it's also under Barack Hussein Obama that a New Technology for easy Genetic Manipulations of Human Genome, (alias : "Genome Editing"), the so-called "CRISPR-Cas9", is invented and Completed, mainly between 2012-2015. All that Opens a way for Massive Modifications of Human Genome,  even of the Germline (i.e. automatically Reproductible through Future Generations, etc), with obvious Risks for all Humakind's Future. A Shaky, Insufficient and Flue alleged Agreement, between some UK, USA and China BioTech. Research Groups, brokered out of any Regulatory Framework and Democratic Oveshight, neither real Transparency, at Obama's Last Moments as Former POTUS (End of 2015-Beginning of 2016), naturally canNot offer Real Guarantees.


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


    => It's in this, UnPrecedented in Human History, almost Dramatic Context, that CoE's deputy Secretary General, Gabrieall Battaini-Dragoni, speaking, Yesterday in Strasbourg, at the Opening of the above-mentioned PanEuropean/International BioEthical Conference on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of "Oviedo" Treaty, (which is always open to Signature and Ratification also by any Non-European Country accross the World), Urged the Participants, and particularly fhe PanEuropean Organisation's competent Legal Experts of its Steering Committee on BioEthics (CDBI), currently Chaired by Dr. Ioan (Comp. Supra), to prepare and present asap its overall concrete Recommendations to CoE's Committee of Ministers on what should be practically done in order to adequately Regulate that Fast-Moving area, which has recently Reached a potentially Dangerous, Culminating Point (Comp. Supra), in a way which mixes alleged Hopes for Medical Breakthroughs on Human Health, with various Serious Risks currently Pending over Humankind's foreseeable Future.


    - Significantly, even American Scientist, Prof. Sheila Jasanoff, from Harvard University's "Kennedy School" on BioEthics, one of CoE Conference's "Keynote Speakers", reminded the Central Importance of the "Human Dignity" Principle, from which all Human Rights are derived, and Criticized some USA's Supreme Court's controversial Judgements, Warning that they may, too Often, be Influenced, f.ex., by some Big Pharma a.o. Lobbies, (to the point that, in some cases, USA Supreme Court's judgements Scandalously almost ...Copied, even Litterally, Word by Word, also concrete Expressions and Verbal Formulations which had been Earlier pushed by such Selfish private Big Companies !). Therefore, that American BioEthical Expert concluded by going as far as to Urge CoE's Experts to Find their own ways to Boost a kind of positive, Original "European Model" for BioEthical Values' Protection accross the World, as she stressed in substance.


    + In Parallel, German Jurist Hans-Jorg Behrens, vice-President of CoE's Inter-Governemental Committee on Human Rights (CDDH), presented an overview of an Interesting Seminar, Earlier Organized by Cyprus' former Presidency of the CoE, back on December 2016 at the ECHR, (i.e. almost at the Same Moment that those above-mentioned "CRISPR-Cas9" Experts were Discussing on the Present and the Future of Genetic Manipulations on Human Persons at their Parallel Meetings in USA : Comp. Supra) : A Strasbourg EuroJudges' certainly, InSufficient yet Case-Law, but also Interesting, and, probably, having some More Important Potential than it might look at First Sight...


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


    - Meanwhile, anOther Warning, also made Yesterday Afternoon, came from a Specific Debate dedicated to the Issue of "Equity of Access to Health Care", with Keynote Speaker a Member of PanEuropean CoE's "Social Rights Committee", Rapporteur for Health Issues, which included a "Round Table" with Scientists, Diplomats (even from Mexico), Politicians (f.ex. from CoE's Parliamentary Assembly : PACE), NGOs, etc. There, Experienced Observers, (as, f.ex. PACE's Rules Committee President, MEP Liliane Maury-Pasquier, from Switzerland, etc), Denounced, inter alia, also a recent "Augmentation of InEqualities in Health Care's Access", and Warned about Risks for some People to be even Submitted, f.ex., to "Useless Mutilations", Treatments "withOut Quality", and/or to various "Aggressive Innovations", etc.


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


     + But New, even More Serious Warnings started to emerge singe the Beginning of the 2nd Day of this Exceptionally Important CoE's BioEthical Conference, when Experts started to Systematically present the Challenges for Human Rights, and Discuss Necessary Measures concerning several among the Most Important New Bio-Technologies, (Comp. Supra) :


    - F.ex., concerning "Sequencing and Analysis" in "Genetics" and the Human "Genome", French Research Director, Professor Anne Camon Thomsen, Member of EU Commission's European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technolohies (EGEST), among others, also pointed at the Fact that, Recently, "we are Moving from 1 Gene, towards the Entire Human Genome", so that Scientific Research now "Needs a Big Mass of Data", (in Addition to Massive "Tests", etc).


    - So that New Information Technologies' "Big Data" tools, may start to Include even many Thousands or Millions of Patients' Medical Data in the Future, she warned.


    + In this regard too, Moreover, "the Borders between Research and Health Care risk to become blurred", she added, (speaking, already, a quite Long Time after, inter alia, also, f.ex., the Emergence of "Hospital-University" Modern Conglomerates, even Physically Bringing more and more Closer Patients, Health Care Stuff, and Scientific/Technologic Researchers)...     


    (And his, Shortly After the Dangerous and potentiallu Scandalous Phenomenon of Poor People, including, particularly Children, etc, who can't afford to Pay for a normal Health Care, by Freely Chosen and Independent Doctors, but are practically Obliged to Accept to be Sumbitted even to various Kinds of "Experiments", eventually, more or less InEfficient or Dangerous, in order to get some Cheap or Free Medical Care, have been, in fact, Popping up accross the US, and/or other Countries in the World)...


    - AnOther Possibility might be to Spread at least "a Basic Insurance Coverage for Many People" and Boost "International Cooperation", as well as, eventually "Link Computer Systems", etc., it was evoked during Debates.


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


    + AnOther EU Commission's Expert, British Professor Jonathan Montgomery, speaking in a debate Fearlessly intitulated : "Modification of Human Genome", (sic !), at least stressed, inter alia, also that, the Seriousness of Nowadays' Issues, shows the "Need to move to Public Discussions" about them, in a "Balanced" way, and, particularly, "Bring the People inside, now"... (See also Infra).


    - Polish Professor on Genetics and Member of UNESCO's International BioEthics Committee, Prof. Ewa Bartnik, felt that at least some "Risks" are "Not" yet "Clear", and "Need to be Discussed".  Among others, f.ex., "We doN't know if a New Regulatory Framework, might really be, or Not", the Best Solution Today, she warned, particularly as long as all main "Risks are Not yet Clear" and "a lot of things" are still , so that "it's Important", first, "to Debate" such issues, (See also Infra).


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


    ++ However, an... "Explosion" of further Unexpected Question Marks, suddenly Popped up, at anOther Area : that of "Brain Technologies", presented by Swiss Director of BioMedical Ethics and History from Zurich, Professor Nikola Biller-Adorno :


    - F.ex., by "Capturing Electric Signals, transmitted by the Brain", "some Might Spy and/or Manipulate Human Emotions", harshly Warned the Chairman of that Discussion, French MEP Jean-Yves Deaut, former Rapporteur of France's National Committee on BioEthics, and of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, (Comp. earlier Deaut's statements to "Eurofora", at anOther occasion, at: ...).


    - But, Prof. Biller-Adorno, went even much Further : F.ex., by "DeCoding" Human "Brain's activity", one could, may be, soon ..."Upload your Brain", "Stock" it in a Computer, even "Edit (i.e. Manipulate) your Brain", and "Re-Load it, afterwards", or "Stimulate Brain Activity", "Emulate" it, etc., she HighLighted, inter alia...


    - All this "could be Used even <<Dual>>, Military Defence and/or Health" purposes, "of a Great Variety", she Warned. And, obviously, such "Brain Data's Transport risks to be Hacked, or face an UnAuthorized Access", particularly as "Computer Interface becomes a Key Component of New, Brain Activity Technologies...


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


    => The possibilities for such Radical BioTech Innovations, apparently would push to Seek some Brand New Legal Rules, also, (as many suggested).


    >>> But, nevertheless, the Experienced President of CoE's PanEuropean Inter-Governemental Committee on Human Rights, Brigitte Konz, advised to be more Carefull :


    - Attention to our Classical, Basic Legal Texts, which already Exist Before those New-BioTech developments : Because, "If some Touch them, then, Afterwards, we Risk, perhaps, to have Less Protection" for Human Righs, she rightfully Warned...


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


    - In Fact, right from the Start, -"I Feel a lot of Hypocrisy..." about all that, Critically Observed, also, the Experienced Professor of Bratislava's Institute of Medical Ethics and BioEthics, Jozef Glasa, Long-Time Member of COE's BioEthical Committee (CDBI), speaking to "Eurofora".


    + Among others, f.ex., -"How could anyone seriously speak about <<Medical Treatment>> purposes for an Individual Patient, (as also COE's Oviedo Treaty asks for Any Intervention to Human Genome), IF this would Affect the GermLine (i.e. be transmitted also to Future Generations) ?", Critically Wondered, on a "Hot" concrete Key point, speaking with "Eurofora", the Swiss Professor in Law, Roberto Andorno, from Zurich University...


    ++ Last, but not least, all those manifold Appeals, during this 2 Days-long, CoE's exceptionally Important Conference, about the Need for "Public Debates", with the participation of all interested Stakeholders, before eventual New Mesaures might be taken by the CoE and/or other actors, According also to what the Oviedo Treaty on Human Rights in BioMedicine notoriously Requires itself, Before any New Rules' Change, are, naturally very Welcome.


    >>> But, How to Explain, then, that UnPrecedented and Surprizing Spectacle, noticed by "Eurofora" and other Observers during the Latest CoE Parliamentary Assembly's Plenary Debate and Vote, Earlier this Month in Strasbourg, on the "Hottest" BioEthical Issue Nowadays, of Crucial Importance for Humanity's Future : that of "Genetic Technologies on Human beings" (Comp. Supra), when Controversial Rapporteur, Socialist Belgian MEP Petra de Sutter's Draft (Comp.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coegeneticsreportrisky.html), curiously, wasn't Discussed but Only Briefly, by ... Two (2) European independent MEPs, (one from Belgium, as Herself), and ... Three (3) Non-European "Observers" from overseas...Canada ???!!!...

 

(Even among Political Groups' Spokesmen, the Biggest, and traditionally Most Critical in such BioEthical Issues Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Astonishingly was Not even Represented at that "Debate", since Noone was Registered, Neither Spoke on its Behalf, apparently for the 1st Time in History, in such kind of matters !

While, also,  PACE's Agenda was Modified, at the Last Minute, and Displaced all that BioEthical Debate and Vote, from the Center of the Day, initially, towards the Obscure Margins of a Late Evening)...


    => Will the CoE find the Strength, Consciousness and Capacity to adequately Rectify such Key Concerns, in a Positive and Timely way before Next Summer 2018's expected Decisions (Comp. Supra) on so Important Issues Nowadays for all Humankind ?

 

(../..)

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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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