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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Anti-Crime Director Kleijssen to EF: Heritable Genetic Editing = Frightening => Ban as Cloning !

CoE Anti-Crime Director Kleijssen to EF: Heritable Genetic Editing = Frightening => Ban as Cloning !

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Days before Chinese President Xi Jiping is due to meet with European and USA Leaders (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/usachinaontradeandbioethics.html, and Infra), the Experienced Director of CoE's PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, (which has 47 Member States, including Russia, etc) competent also on Fight against Crime, Jan Kleijssen from the Netherlands, speaking to "Eurofora", strongly Denounced the recent Heritable Genetic Editing of 2 Babies by a Chinese Doctor Educated by, Linked to, and Publicized through a "Socialist"/Liberal USA Network of the former Barack Hussein Obama's era, (See : ...), and stressed that it must be Banned, reminding that also the Cloning of Human Beings identical to others, had Started to be Outlawed already since the 1990ies.

CoE is the Only Multilateral Organisation in the World which has a Legaly Binding Convention on Bio-Medicine and Human Rights, called "Oviedo" Treaty, as early as since 1998, which is Open for Signature and Ratification even to 3rd, Non-European Countries, accross the World.

 

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Kleijssen made it clear that, as a matter of General Principle, most Bio-Medical Research and Technologies, as well as many others, are neither "bad", nor "good" in themselves, but depending on the way in which some Use or Abuse of them. That's why, Bio-Ethical Rules should, in general, EnLighten and Guide Practitioners on what, when and how a given Technology might be, entirely or partially, admissible, or not, he recalled.

But, sometimes, there are also certain "Red Lines", CoE's Top Official pointed out. F.ex., CoE called to "Prohibit" the Cloning of Humans, (i.e. the ReProduction of Identical Human beings to another individual, alive or dead), Denounced as Contrary to "Human Dignity", (to which were Added, Later-on, Worrying Findings about Negative Genital Malformations of Cloned Animals, as the Famous Ship "Dolly", Dead after Sufferings), with a Protocol to its above-mentioned Convention on Biology, Medicine and Human Rights, (the "Oviedo" Treaty), opened to signature in Paris since January 1998, he Reminded.

So that Countries going from Germany up to Australia, etc, already Imposed such a Ban against Cloning of Human Beings, via Legal Rules threatening with several Years of Jail, Financial Sanctions, etc., and USA's former President G.W.Bush had also adopted a similar Measure, before the Bill stahled in the Congress.

+ Moreover, several More Countries throughout the World, including, f.ex., among others, also Italy, Spain, the Philppines, USA, the Holy See, Costa Rica, Portugal, most Latin America Countries, backed in substance by France and Germany, etc, pushed for an International Ban against "Cloning" Humans, at the level of the UNO, followed also by several other Countries which were for a Partial Ban, on 2005, finaly Resulting, then, into a Global UN Declaration.

>>> But, Nowaday's Threat for Heritable "Editing" able to Manipulate the Human Genome also in Future Generations, in an Irreversible way, (as it Started to already occur since the Autumn of 2018 : Comp. Supra), -"is, indeed, very Frightening !", denounced CoE's experienced Director against Crime, (who has also Served as CEO of CoE Assembly's Political Committee, Head of CoE Secretary General's Office, etc).

=> Therefore, we (CoE) should make it clear that this Controversial Technique "Crosses a Red Line", by Prohibiting it, with a Legaly Binding Measure which can be extended Worldwide, f.ex., based on CoE's above-mentioned Convention on Bio-Medicine and Human Rights, which already Prohibits any Intervention aimed at Modifying the Human GermLine, (i.e. to Manipulate the Human Genome also for Future Generations : "any Modification to the Genome of any Descendants", as its Article 13 says), Kleijssen urged.

+ In Parallel, 2 New CoE Experts' Reports on Editing Human Genome are reportedly in Preparation : Both a Survey of All Member Countries' relevant Legislation, and a BioEthical Analysis of what is really at stake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

++ Meanwhile, a fresh Call to establish "a Global Ban" against Heritable Genetic Manipulations on Humans was Recently Launched by MEPs during an "ad hoc" EU Parliament's Debate in Strasbourg, with an EU Commissioner promissing to "Explore" that possibility asap, while the vice-President of the Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Pons from Spain, speaking to "Eurofora", announced that, already a relevan Draft Resolution circulates inside EU Parliament, with the aim to be voted and adopted, hopefully, before the forthcoming EU Elections of May 2019, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppvpresidentandmepsongermlinemanipban.html , etc).

+++ In Addition, a Chinese Government Official has Recently Condemned Strongly such Controversial and Dangerous Practices, (against Health and Humanity), as both "illegal" and "UnEthical", (See, f.ex.: ...), while US President Don Trump, in a Recent Speech to the traditional BiPartisan, American "National Prayer Breakfast" annual 2019 event, spoke for "All Children, Born and UnBorn, (which) are made at the Image of God", linked to "the Miracle of Life and to the Majesty of Creation", as he said for the Human Embryos, on a Key Point which was most Widely and Lively Applauded by Thousands of People.

Several among Trump's Socio-Political Opponents are Afraid that the American President might be, sooner or later, enclined to Trigger and Stimulate also Christian and other such People's support on certain Key BioEthical Issues, (perhaps inspired also by his predecessor, GWBush's similar succesful move at his brillant Re-Election of 2004, which had suddenly become UnExpectedly Popular), against the narrow-minded, petty interests of some selfish Lobbies which had copiously Paid Barack Hussein Obama's pre-Electoral Campaigns on 2009 and 2012, pushing to Drop BioEthical Values for Big Pharma's bucks.

To those, are naturally Added also Other People, particularly Opposed to "Racist" propaganda and/or practices, as they claim, who should, normally, be among the First to Fear, even More, any Risk to Artificially Create real "Races", by Heritable Alterations of Human Genome also in Future Generations, which Threatens to put an End to Humanity's History  !...

=> Until and during April, Presidents Trump and Xi have, on the Occasion of Top-Level Contacts for Trade, a rare, if not unique, Chance to make an Historic move in order to Settle, or, at least, Prepare and ensure the settlement of such a Crucial Issue.

++++ This is Also true for even Earlier expected Top Level Meetings of the Chinese President, towards the End of March, with key European Leaders as the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angie Merkel, Together with EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, Next Week in Paris, at the Eve of Crucial EU Elections of May 2019, and well Before the decisive 2020 US Elections.

Between those Two Dates, an EU - China Summit (after EU Commission recently adopted its Draft "Strategy" on Beijing, earlier this March in Strasbourg : Comp: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucommissionvpresidentonchinaandspace.html, to be Followed, Later this week, also by an EU Heads of State/Governments' Summit due to discuss and vote on EU's overall Strategy vis a vis China) is scheduled in Brussels for April 9.

 

(../..)

 

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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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