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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Child Abuse Watchdog Officials to EF for Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Age Verification

CoE Child Abuse Watchdog Officials to EF for Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Age Verification

Written by ACM
Monday, 06 March 2017

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Real Children's "Age Verification is a very Important Issue" Today, particularly in relation to Sexual Abuse and Migration, so that a special COE's Report with relevant "Guidelines" is expected asap, Replied to an "Eurofora" Question in a Press Conference in Strasbourg a key CoE Officer in charge of Data collection for the PanEuropean Organisation's Child Abuse Watchdog, the "Lanzarote" Convention's Committee for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and/or Abuse. He spoke on the occasion of the Publication, later Today, of its Latest Report Exclusively on an allegedly Great Number of "Minors" among an UnPrecedented 1,5 Million Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' influx in Europe via Turkey during 2015-2016, (See Estimated Numbers Infra).


    - Indeed, "there are a Lot of Individuals Pretending to be "Children", in order to get certain Advantages", acknowledged earlier the President of CoE's "Lanzarote" Committee, Claude Janizzi, an Expert from the State of Luxembourg, in an exchange with CoE's Officials, a copy of which was shown at the Beginning of Today's Press Conference in the Morning, before being published also at CoE's web site Later-on.

 

coe_2017_report_of_lazarote_committee_on_child_abuse__recent_migration_crisis_400  

 + Moreover, CoE's Report Estimates, which point at about 337.000 "Children Asylum Seekers", Focus a particular Attention on Risks for Sexual Abuses, concerning mainly around 88.300 "Unaccompanied Children", (down from a previous CoE Assembly Estimation of almost 100.000), during 2015,  60% of whom have even reportedly "Gone Missing".


    Among others, f.ex. also Germany's Federal Budget Authorities had anounced an Exceptionaly High Amount of Funds earmarked for Care reserved to such "Unaccompanied" Mass Migrant "Children" these years.


    - However, in Reply to a Question by "Eurofora" about the Younger or Older Age, and or the probable Cause of so many, reportedly "Unaccompanied Children" recently, CoE's Officer in charge of the Collection of Data, Mikael Poutier, from France, observed that "a Majority, are Older" Minors.


    - Moreover, many alleged Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants seem or claim to be about "16-17 Years Old", but, in fact, several times, it's "Not Clear" whether they are really Minors or Young Adults, he admitted.


    This seems Confirmed also by CoE's Final Report, Published Later Today, which observes that "Most Unaccompanied children in the EU are 16-17 year-Old", i.e. at the Borderline with Adults (from 18 years old).


    => Therefore, "Age Verification is a Very Important Issue" Nowadays, told us the competent CoE's Officer, (See also Infra).


    Inter alia, also because when one is Not really a Chlld, he/she won't have right to a special Protective Status. While also, Experience shows that "Mixing" Adults with Minors can Expose Real Children to various Dangers of Abuse, particularly when they Share some Collective Facilities Together, provoking Promiscuity problems, (Aggravated in some "overcrowded" Reception Centers, in case of Longer stay, etc).


    But several National Officials have already observed that Many among the Youngsters who recently entered in Europe via Turkey, appeared withOut any Official Document attesting of their Age, a lot of them routinely Claiming to be Minors.    


    During a special Hearing organized recently in Strasbourg by CoE's Assembly, on the sidelines of its Plenary Session, a Representative of "Amnesty International" from Germany denounced the Fact that a very DisProportionate Number of 2015-2016 Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants who arrived through Turkey claimed to be "Minors", in a much Bigger Percentage of that Total Population, than ever found in any other case, showing that Something AbNormal is going on, probably many among them Concealing their Real Age.

  

 Another Expert, from a French NGO, initialy said that PreExisting Medical Procedures for Age Assessment (some from a Remote Past) appeared Difficult to handle and/or of UnCertain Accuracy, or inadequate in such special cases. But when he was Questioned by "Eurofora" on whether it was Both Necessary and Feasible to Find some More Efficient Scientific and Practical Methods of Age Verification, that Medical Expert's Reply was clearly Affirmative.     


    => Therefore,  CoE has Recently entrusted a competent Committee "on Children's Rights" with the Task to "Define Guidelines for Age Verifications", and we are all Waiting the Conclusions of its forthcoming "Report" on that "very Important matter", Anounced CoE's Official Mikael Poutier, in Reply to "Eurofora"s Questions.

 

coe_officer_of_lazarote_convention_v._child_abuse__eurofora_400
 

 

He was speaking about "CANHEF", (set up Last Year for the "Implementation" of the PanEuropean Organisation's "Strategy for the Rights of the Child", and relevent "Expertise" on Legal "Standards", while also Following particularly the Work of Monitoring Bodies as the "Lazarote" Committee against Sexual Abuse, etc), which has already Decided to form "Drafting Groups" of Experts on Children and "Digital" Technologies, as well as "Migration", since September 2016, and is due to Meet at the End of March 2017 in Strasbourg, but also on Autumn 2017.  


    - Until then, it's "Too Early" to make more specific comments on that Hot Matter, he Carefuly Advised. While, f.ex., as Other CoE Officers observed, in case of "Doubt" for the Age of Young Victims of Sexual Abuse, if there are reasons to Believe that they are Children, Lanzerote Convention asks to consider them as such, Pending Verification of their Real Age, in order to ensure their Protection from Agressors Assaulting them, CoE's Report reminds Today, urging Member States, as f.ex. Hungary, (an Exceptionaly Affected EU Country from that UnPrecedented Massive Influx of Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants from Turkey, particularly in Proportion to the Hungarian Population), which don't yet seem to have done so, to Adapt their Practice accordingly.


    Meanwhile, however, published Photos f.ex. of an alleged "Minor" (looking, in fact, as a Grown up Teenager or a Young Adult Aged 18-21) from the Recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' Group which had arrived via Turkey up to Sweden, strolling among obviously very much Younger Swedish Children inside Schoolyards and/or Collective Sport Facilities, obviously Raise Critical Questions also on eventual Risks for the Real Children Exposed to such a Promiscuity.  


    CoE's 1st PanEuropean Investigation "Urgently" made by the CoE on Sexual Child Abuses and recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, as Published Later Today, Revealed a quite Unexpected "Lack of Data" collected by National Authorities about such reported Abuses having being Committed by various Other Persons to the Detriment of these "Refugee Children" between 2015-2016, CoE's Officials told Journalists, including "Eurofora", this Morning in Strasbourg, even if several National Authorities reportedly Feel that Real Numbers of such Incidents could be Bigger, in Real Practive, from what has been formaly Reported.


    The Failure to Find enough Official Data about Sexual Abuses committed against Real Children among the recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants brought mainly by Turkish Smugglers through Greece, etc, (Except from 49 such Victims inside Turkey itself, to the Detriment of Syrian Refugees, and 4 in Belgium, etc), might also be due to the  Fact that Many among those People have reportedly had a Bad Image of Public Authorities in general, possibly because of Problems Experienced also in their Countries of Origin, which makes it particularly Difficult for them to Trust Officials, according to some CoE's sources.  


    But, while such "Data Collection Mechanisms" probably Need to be Built yet, with Adequate and Efficient Methods, as CoE's Officers pointed out, nevertheless, already, various Mainstream Press Reports throughout Europe have Already Denounced several such Sexual Abuse Attacks, sometimes even very Brutal, either Between Refugee Children and Adult Mass Asylum Seekers, or between the Latter and Ordinary Children, or even some Grown up Teenagers, even Young Adults, living in Europe since long, including European People, that CoE has the Duty to Protect too :


    F.ex., among several other Real Cases, Recently reported by Mainstream Press, are Included also : 2 Young Refugee Children sexualy assaulted in "Hot Spots" located at Greek Islands near Turkey ; 1 or 2 very small Boys from a Refugee Family, sexually assaulted by a Young Mass Asylum Seeker in a Collective Facility at Berlin, Germany ;  2 British Girls aged Only 14 Sexualy Assaulted by 4 or 5 Young Mass Asylum Seekers at a Park in the UK ; in Sweden, an "UnAccompanied Minor" Sexualy Molested 2 Girls aged 8 - 10 at a Swimming Pool (where also several Other such Sexual Abuses against Real Children had already taken place, according to the Public Authorities) + Moreover, a Girl aged 16 was Knifed at the Head by a Mass Migrant Teenager, Karim Ageri, Claiming to be 15, but, Found to be "at least 18", who had Attempted to have Sex with her ; during a Music Concert at Darmstadt (Germany) Girls aged 12-13 were Sexualy Assaulted by Teenagers of Migrant origin, alike several among those who made Violent Mob Attacks on Young Girls in Cologne, at New Eve's Night ; a 10 Years old Serbian Boy (from a European Refugee Family of Former-Yugoslavia) was Raped in a Public Bath at Wien (Austria) by a Teenager Mass Asylum Seeker/Irregular Migrant (accompanied to the Pool by a Social Worker, who didn't Nothing to save the Victim), after entering Europe via Turkey ; a 19 y.o. Student Girl, (Maria Ladenburger : Daughter of an EU Legal Officer, who used to Help Refugees in her spare Time), Raped and Murdered by an Afghan Mass Asylum Seeker/Irregular Migrant of UnDetermined yet Age, who had also entered EU via Turkey, after Committing in Greece a previous very Violent Sex Assault on another Young Girl, which was Hospitalized for Serious Wounds, after she was Thrown Down from an 8 Meters High parvis to a rocky Sea Coast.

 

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    Scandalously, that Killer, Recidivist Hussein Khavari, had been initialy considered as an "UnAccompanied Minor" too, when he entered Germany. In Fact, he had already been presented as a 17 Years "UnAccompanied Minor" in Greece, 3 Years Earlier, but was also Registered as an "Unaccompanied Minor" aged 16 when he afterwards arrived in Germany, several Years Later on ! Only After these 2 Crimes he was recognized as an Adult. Meanwhile, he had been Awarded a place in a German "Foster Family", (normaly reserved only for isolated Mass Refugee Children).


    That Tragic, Deadly Blunder was reportedly due also to a Lack of Sufficient Coordination between the European Countries most Affected by that UnPrecedented 2015-2016 Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants influx vuia Turkey, (f.ex., in this case : Greece and Germany, etc), including by Initial Problems in the set up, use and functioning of the "EuroDac" System, etc.


    => Using sufficiently Wide Terms, interestingly, the Ultimate "Recommendation" made in Conclusion of the CoE's Report published Today, is for Member States to "Coordinate" Actions in order to "Facilitate the Prevention and Protection of (all) Children Affected, in the Refugee Crisis, from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse", without Any Discrimination between eventual Victims, nor their Abusers.


     - "Lanzarote Committee acknowledges that, in some circumstances, Children Already in the Country ("Before the Refugee Crisis" of 2015-2016) may be indirectly Affected by the Refugee Crisis, in a Variety of ways", resulting in "Situations" which have a real "Importance", COE's Report observes, citting "f.ex. ... Victim(s) of Sexual Abuse by ..Person(s) who Came to the Country", "or Because of ...Reduction to Social Aid", etc., while, however, Focusing, in that Text, on those who entered Europe during the 2015-2016 UnPrecedented Mass Population Movementrs.
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    Both CoE's competent Officers and its Report Denounced also the Abuses Haunting Children of this particular Wave of Migrants, very Predominantrly Muslim and apparently, at least partialy, Selected by Turkey, as mainstream Press Reports from Brussels' EU Experts have revealed, (f.ex. by a quasi-Systematic Exclusion of Educated People, of Christians, etc), even by "Forced" and/or "Child Mariages", (which may Threaten Real Children with Rape, etc), "Genital Mutilation" of Girls, etc.

    Current Estimates about Asylum-Seeking Children in European Countries during 2015-2016, widely Vary, f.ex., approximately, from Only 10 in Ukraine, but around 700 in Cyprus and in Luxembourg, up to about 40.000 in Hungary and in Austria, and even more than 65.000 in Sweden, topling with 135.000 in Germany. But Many "Unaccompanied Children" are Not Seeking Asylum, at least Not Yet. However, the "Lanzarote Convention applies to All Children", i.e. even "Street Children", (and, naturaly, also to Millions of European or Other Children already living since long in Europe), as CoE's Report explicitly reminds.


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


    CoE's Lanzarote Committee reportedly had to Postpone the 2nd Part (and more Practice-oriented) of its earlier work against Abuses of Children committed by individuals who Exploit a Fake Appearance of "Trustworthy" persons, (a delicate but Big Issue for Millions of potential Victims, throughout Europe and in the World, Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport : ....), in order to "Urgently" deal Exclusively with cases of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants who suddenly infiltrated Europe via Turkish Smugglers on 2015-2016, as far as Children abuse risks are concerned. So that now, it's expected to Return Back into that main PanEuropean/International Issue asap, for a 2017-2018 New Report, CoE's competent Officer Mikael Poutiers told "Eurofora" in substance.


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

    + Meanwhile, another Problem is that Eventual Lack of Sufficient Protections and/or UnReported Sex Abuse of Real Children among fragile Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants (most of them notoriously Exploited by Turkish Smugglers, already, many of whom are Linked to various Mafia-like Networks, according f.ex. to UK - USA Press), might also Aggravate Risks for them to Fall even Victims of Sex Trafficking Networks, Later-on, CoE's Officials Warned Journalists in Strasbourg, including "Eurofora".


    ++ A Press Agency collegue from France raised the Question (present also in COE's Report) of eventual Dangers for some "Sexual Predators" to Attempt to Infiltrate certain NGOs allegedly "Helping" f.ex. the recently arrived Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants via Turkey. CoE Officials' Reply was mainly that States are Obliged to Take Sufficient Measures for an "Effective" Protection of all Children from Abuse, and this should include f.ex. appropriate "Vetting" of any Civil Servants, NGOs, and/or other Persons due to Deal with Children, particulary those who are in a Fragile Situation, as, f.ex., Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, etc., in order to "Ensure" and Adequate Protection against any eventual Attempts for Abuses somewhere from Children's "Circle of Trust".


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


    + Meanwhile, in a Partly Related Issue, the Director of CoE's Child Abuse Watchdog, Mrs Gioa Scappucci, from Italy, speaking to "Eurofora", acknowledged possible concerns about risks for an eventual "SetBack" in UK's formely Active and Succesfull Investigations against Child Abuse, (which had f.ex. Recently Discovered and Started to Punish a Wide-Ranging mainly Muslim Pakistani Migrants' Violent Gang Sexually Aggressing and Exploiting more than 1.500 British Children during More than a Decade, thanks to a Scandalous Cover-up by some Local Politicians, Police and/or Social Workers, etc), particularly After a more Recent Failure of anOther Investigation for Child Abuse allegedly committed in a Remote Past by some High-Ranking Politicians, and a subsequently Controversial Change of Scotland Yard's Top Officer who had overseen such Enquiries, (Comp., f.ex. : ....).


    - "But the UK is Not yet Member of (CoE's) Lanzarote Convention, as also Azerbaijan and 4 Other Countries, among CoE's 47 Member States, Scappucci Regretted, while also Observing that an eventual Accession of the UK to the PanEuropean Convention for the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse would Strengthen CoE's Fight against that Plague. Particularly given its recent Experience in Investigating such Crimes and the Possibilities of PanEuropean "Cooperations" in the Fight Against this, systematicaly Favoured by the CoE Convention's Monitoring mechanism.


    However, Recently, at least 2 Non-European but Neighbouring Countries, Tunisia and Morocco, etc., have shown an Interest into eventualy being involved, to CoE's Child Protection Mechanisms, including against Sexual Abuse, i.e. the "Lanzarote" Convention's body, which has also a Wider Regional, almost International vocation, CoE's Officer Poutier added to "Eurofora" for the foreseable Future.

 

(../..)

 

 

***

 

 

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

 

 

***

 

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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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