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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Chair, Czech Foreign Minister Zaoralek to EF: Turkey v. Human Rights eve of Cyprus UN Conference

CoE Chair, Czech Foreign Minister Zaoralek to EF: Turkey v. Human Rights eve of Cyprus UN Conference

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/-  President in office of the CoE for the period of May - November 2017, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, Experienced former President of the Parliament, and currently Candidate Prime Minister of the Country in the forthcoming October 2017 Election, for the Frontrunner ČSSD Party, replying Today to an "Eurofora" Question, at the Eve of an Important UN-Sponsored Multilateral Conferene on Cyprus' ReUnification, which opens Tomorrow at Nearby Switzerland, didn't seem very optimist as far as Turkey's readiness to comply with the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law standards nowadays.

However, for a just and sustainable Solution of the Cyprus' issue,  Respect by Turkey of ECHR's case-Law plays a crucial role, particularly on Refugees' Family Homes and Ancestral Land, as well as other Private Properties, (that the Turkish Invasion/Occupation Army Hinders them to Access since 1974, despite Many Condamnations of Ankara's Government by the ECHR), "Missing" Persons, etc., (in addition to some CoE's Democracy and Rule of Law principles).

- Soon, your Collegues from the EU will be actively Present (officialy as "Observers") to a UN-sponsored High-Level Political Conference for the Solution of Cyprus' issue, which Starts Tomorrow in Switzerland. But the CoE is not yet explicitly included, even is there are Important ECHR Judgements still pending for execution around Cyprus issue. How do you feel about that ? Would CoE's Committee of Ministers Follow more closely these UN Cyprus' Negotiations, particularly as far as Human Rights are concerned ?, "Eurofora" asked Zaoralek at the CoE in Strasbourg.


- CoE's President in office, after Carefuly Hearing "Eurofora"s above mentioned Question, (including by asking for a brief clarification etc), Did Not Exclude, a priori, that the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political body : Its Committee of Ministers, would, indeed, be closely following the forthcoming UN Conference on Cyprus, at least as far as its Human Rights' aspects are concerned.


- However, the current situation there is Not as good as we (CoE) would like it to be, "at these Times", he Warned Today, (27 June 2017).


- Indeed, "Previously, We (CoE) had some Hopes", Zaoralek revealed, "but now", things look different, he Criticaly but Realisticaly pointed out.


+ Asked by "Eurofora" to Clarify, he confirmed that this certainly "Concerns the Human Rights"' aspects of the overall issue.


 - "This is a Crucial Question", to which, CoE's Highest Political body, its "Commitee of Ministers, puts Particular Attention", Zaoralek stressed Earlier, as far as "the implementation of ECHR's Judgements" is concerned.


 He said that, speaking in Strasbourg at the Eve of a CoE Assembly's "Debate" on that issue, for which he "Congratulated" MEPs, based on a Report asking for "greater Transparency" in "the Supervision of the implementation of judgements", and a greater Role" for "Civil Society" (i.e. Including Medias, etc),  there, as well as, "in case of Strong Resistance by (a) respondent State",  to "Use the Procedures provided for by Article 46" of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, according to which, whenever a State "Refuses to Abide by a Final Judgement", to "Refer to the ECHR the Question whether ... it Failed  to fulfil its Obligations". In that case ECHR could refer the case back to the Committee of Ministers for ...Measures to be taken" against the Recalcitrant State, (in this case : Turkey).


By a rare coincidence, CoE Assembly's public Debate and Votes on that Crucial matter has been scheduled on Thursday, June 29, i.e. just One Day after the forthcoming Opening of the UN sponsored Multilateral Conference on Cyprus issue, scheduled for Tomorrow, Wednesday 28 of June, at Crans Montana, in nearby Switzerland.


+ CoE's President in office Spoke to "Eurofora" Today around this issue, just "a Week" after "a Major Conference on the Binding effect of the judicial Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts", which "took place ...in Brno, the Capital of the Czech Judiciary", as  "one of the most Prominent events of the Czech Chairmanship" of the CoE", including a "Discussion with Presidents of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts of the member States of the CoE, as well as with Judges of European courts and leading Academics", as he earlier reminded.

 
zaoralek_at_paces_hemicycle_eurofora_screenshot_400 


In this Context, "the Execution of ECHR's Judgments, and the approaches of Governments of member States to the Condemnatory "Pilot" Judgments", (as those, f.ex., which concern Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons, and/or "Missing" Persons in Cyprus, etc), were "among (the) Topical Issues Discussed" on that occasion.


++Previously in Strasbourg, it was CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland himself, who, on the occasion of a Ceremony for the Beginning of the current, Czech Presidency of the PanEuropean Organisation, where "Eurofora" participated), Warned that "without Implementation of ECHR's Judgements, Rule of Law canNot Exist in Europe !"...


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zaoralek_in_pace_eurofora_screenshot_400


    + But, meanwhile, it's also the Overall Human Rights' "Situation" in "Turkey", which "seems ... to be Deteriorating", and this "is one of the Most Serious Issues !", CoE President i.o. Zaoralek Criticaly observed.  

   
    - Indeed, "Extreme Care must be taken to respect the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights", as far as the Turkish Authorities are concerned, in general, he Warned Earlier.


    + "Finally, securing Effective Political Progress is Vital" : "That Message has been conveyed a Number of Times to the Turkish Authorities" ... In general, "The Council of Europe’s Standards and Values must remain the Guiding Principles" Zaoralek concluded on Turkey, in Wider terms.


    + "In Addition" to CoE's Highest Political body : its "Committee of Ministers", it's also its "Secretary General" (Thornbjord Jagland), and "Not only the Czech Republic", but also several Other CoE Member Countries, which "Raise those Issues" also "on a Bilateral Level" vis a vis Ankara, he went on to say.


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


    ++ Meanwhile, almost in Parallel, as far as it concerns, Moreover, Turkey's controversial Demand for Ankara's 1974 Invasion/Occupation Troops to remain at the Island even after an eventual ReUnification of Cyprus, in Addition to the Turkish Government's dangerous Claim for even more Unilateral Military Interventions in Cyprus, it's also the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, who, speaking this Week-End on the sidelines of the latest EU Summit in Brussels, reportedly found that "we never had so Many Allies" (among his 27 Collegues Heads of State/Government of EU Member Countries) against that.


    Indeed, inter alia, it was mainly Ankara's blunt insistance for such a quasi-Permanent Military Interventionism in a CoE and EU Member State as Cyprus, which had already Provoked a Long Suspension of the UN sponsored Political Multilateral Conference on Cyprus, shortly after it had just Started, for the 1st Time in History, Back on January 2017, in Geneva.


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


    +But it's also the above-mentioned issue of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced People's Return back Home, which is in fact, one among the "Hottest" in the World :


    F.ex., among others, Experienced, Long Time UNHCR Top Official, Sergio de Mello, World-Famous for his Life-Time search of ways for real Refugees to become able to Return Back Home in various Continents, who became also UNO's High Commissioner for Refugees, and afterwards even for Human Rights in general, was Brutaly Murdered, together with Other UN Staff, by an Islamist Bomb Explosion at his Office at Bagdad, (where he had been exceptionaly send as UN Envoy for Iraq), shortly after Announcing a Big New Plan to Help Bring Back 400.000 Kurdish Refugees at the Northern Region of Iraq, facing Turkey's Borders...


    Later, it was revealed that those Deadly Bombers were Members, in fact, of a Group from which Emerged the Nowadays "ISIL" Islamist Terrorists : Those who have notoriously developed accross Turkey's Borders to Syria and/or Iraq, from where they routinely received, during Many Years, Recruits, Money, Weapons, and other Logistical Support !

+ And, Today, when a Growing List of 11 mainly Muslim Countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Senegal, etc., started to take Sanctions against Qatar, Accused also by New US President Don Trump to Fund Both Islamist Radicalisation and Terrorism, it's ...only Turkey which send Military Troops in the Arab Peninsula, taking Sides for Quatar, was ...Turkey.


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

coes_president_in_office_czech_fminister_zaoralek__agg_eurofora_400 


    Now, Zaoralek's above-mentioned Realism (Comp. Supra) seems confirmed also by the Fact that, indeed, EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, (who had been Present at the Beginning of UNO's Cyprus Conference, back on January 2017, at Geneva), as he Recently Told "Eurofora" in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, (Comp:...), exceptionaly won't be present, this Time, at Crans  Montana, (at least Not for Now), where he will be represented by EU Commission's vice-President Timmermans, together with EU's High Representative for External Actions, Federica Mogerini, on Friday, June 30, when UNO's new Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, is due to arrive.


----------------------------------
+ Kohl :
-------------------------------------------------


Last, but not least, "Eurofora" was informed that the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law (i.e. the CoE) was due to be Officialy Represented in the forthcoming Exceptional Strasbourg's Summit for the Orbituary and in Honour of the Historic German Chancelor Helmut Kohl, "Faher" of Germany's and all Europe's ReUnification, next Saturday, July 1st, at EU Parliament here, etc., precisely by the current CoE's President in office, Lubomir Zaoralek.


(../..)


***


("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


***




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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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