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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE slams Mob Violence+Press Muzzling against Women in EU Cities, asks Enquiry+Justice

CoE slams Mob Violence+Press Muzzling against Women in EU Cities, asks Enquiry+Justice

Written by ACM
Thursday, 28 January 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While EU Parliament, curiously, appeared to Delay, Banaliize and/or Downgrade the issue (See Facts in forthcoming NewsReport), on the Contrary, CoE's PanEuropean watchdog for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, already Debated and Voted Today in Strasbourg a quite Strong Resolution, preceded by various outspoken Critical Remarks even from mainstream MEPs of Different Countries and Political Groups, (even if mostly from Center-Right : f.ex. Liberals, EPP, EDG, NI, etc),


on the still "Hot" Scandal of the Unprecedented but Concerted, Brutal Mob Attacks against defenseless Young Girls and Women, mainly by some Groups of Migrants, at several EU Countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the UK, etc) during the New Years' Eve. Including on the Astonishing Fact that it was left for Many Days Unreported by Establishment's Media Muzzled by Scandalous Secret Orders (f.ex. in Germany's NRW Federated State) of a Local/Regional Police, which did Not Defend the Victims during the Attacks, Left all the Perpetratros initially Unpunished, and initialy tried to Cover Up their Crimes by Hidding the real facts, etc. But, on the Contrary, Stopped, Diverted, Dispersed by Force, abusing even of Water-Canons (in Cold, Winter Time) and/or Gas against the Biggest Protest Demonstration at Koeln, (the Worst-hit City, reportedly with several Hundreds of Complaints already lodged), apparently without even thinking that at least some Families of Victims could be among the Demonstrators, (See +Infra)...


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CoE Resoluton's Strongest Parts :
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- CoE's Report, adopted this week in Strasbourg, speaks not only about "the Attacks in Cologne, and Other Cities, mostly in Germany, but Also in Austria, Switzerland, and Finland", to which Media added even similar "Attacks which occured in Sweden Earlier this year", and, now, Brittish MEPs extended moreover to certain UK-related Incidents, (See Infra).


But it focuses at Cologne, for now, where more than "766 Complaints have been officialy made to the Police, to date", (in fact, Now, ..more than 1 Thousand : See Infra).


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    - "Recent Attacks against women in several European Cities have highlighted the Urgent Need to Protect women from sexual violence", naturaly.


    + But, in Addition, - "Their Simultaneous occurrence, their Scale, the Late Reporting by the Media, and the Slow response of the Authorities, are of Great Concern", CoE's Resolution moreover denounces.

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    => "These attacks .. require an official Investigation into the Facts, and into the reasons for Delaying official Reporting to the public", as well as "call for a Comprehensive Response", CoE stressed with a quasi-Unanimous Resolution adopted with 115 Votes out of a Total of 117.


    - "Violence within Crowds represents anOther Dimension of violence against women", the Resolution acknowledges, (following also the German Minister of Justice).


    - "According to Witness accounts, the Majority of Perpetrators of the recent attacks were allegedly of Foreign origin. These attacks triggered Debates on reception policies and Integration in Europe".

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    - "The Media also hold an important responsibility ..... They should not, in order to ensure political correctness, Hide the Truth from the general public. Partial, Late or biased reporting on crimes can feed Conspiracy theories, Fuel Hatred against a part of the population and contribute to Mistrust in the authorities and the media... That's why Media must "Report objectively and truthfully on Facts", (something which doesn't hinder, at the same time, Not to "Stigmatise a part of the population").

=>     In the light of these considerations,


    (A) - The Assembly Calls on the relevant Authorities to conduct an Investigation into the Attacks against women, and to Publish its Results"


CoE's official Report moreover "Urges ...to conduct a Full Investigation, and Shed Light on what Happened", particularly "analyse Whether it was Planned".


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    (B) + the Assembly Calls on Council of Europe member States to :


    - "ensure, by Prosecuting Perpetrators, there will be No Impunity". ("Zero Tolerance", asks CoE's official Report against those Mob Criminals).

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    (C) - "engage in a dialogue with the Media, about their Responsibility to ensure Timely and objective Reporting on Events, including Crimes", while also continuing, naturaly,  "and to combat hate speech"


    + According to CoE's official Report, "German Authorities" (in NRW) and Media were Accused of Hiding the Truth from the Public"...."Victims told the Press that they (were) Afraid of being ...Harassed for contributing to "Hatred" against Migrants and Asylum Seekers". Even "some Feminist Activists explain their Delayed Reaction to the Attacks by the Fear of being called "Racist"...

    CoE Assembly's Resolutions are not Directly Binding, but, in case of repeatedly and seriously recalcitrant States, the PanEuropean Organisation's Parliamentary Assembly holds Various possible Sanctions vis a vis their MEPs.
    
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CoE MEPs' Debate :
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    Most MEPs were obviously Opposed between those (the Majority) who Recognized a New and Specific Crime (as German Justice Minister Acknowledged) of Concerted Brutal and Sexual Mob Attacks with real Violence against Defenseless Young Girls/Women, at a Public Area, but Deprived of any Police Help, while even the Media were Muzzled,


    and those (a Minority) who still Insist to Downgrade the issue by drowning it down into a Banalizing, vague "Violence against Women", (i.e. Nothing New, as they claim : See Infra)...


    Both are Crimes, but Not of the Same Kind, nor Gravity. A Characteristic Key-Word was given by Eye-Witnesses cited at German Media : - "They Attacked" them by Tens of rather Hundrends of Aggressors in a Row, and "lll-Treated, them in Public, ...LIKE CATTLE !". (I.e. as an Inferior Race of Animals, which could be seriously ill-Treated, Brutalized and Humiliated, in front of everyone, Massively, and in Total Impunity : a Real Racism)...


    Here, the Focus is, naturaly, mainly (but not only) on those MEP's sayings which belong to the First Category.


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    + Concerning "the Media's role : The German and international media reported on the Cologne Attacks only after several days. Did they want to Hide the Truth? If so, why? Violence against women is a Crime, and it Should Not be Hidden from the general public. Late, biased Reporting Diminishes the public’s Trust in the media, and we must criticise actions that Undermine that trust. As I state in the report, honest crime reporting is important, Irrespective of the Perpetrator. It is the Media’s Responsibly to report the facts objectively without stigmatising a part of the population. We should therefore Investigate the reasons behind the Media’s Delay in Reporting", stressed CoE's Rappoteur, Swedish MEP Jonas Gunnarson.

    - "it is important that we say things clearly. ...It is important that these events are explained. They did not take place only in Germany, but also in Sweden. As the (CoE's) Rapporteur rightly said, this problem exists in Many of our Countries, and it is Important to ask Who the Perpetrators are. We must be Clear about that; it must be Explained and we must understand exactly What Happened. At the moment those events are not clear and are rather hazy", Denounced from the outset, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, the Head of the German Delegation to CoE's Assembly, Axel Fischer.


    - "People asked why it took so Long for the Media to get involved and Report it". In fact, some claimed "that Nothing happened and it was not very important, but, then, why +3 Days Later there was a Huge Outcry in the media and the issue was taken up. Some of Complaints that have been made are true – there were Massive Sexual Attacks.."


    => - "The CoE must Deal with those Questions, because support for Human Rights is part of its (own) moto". ...Something has gone Wrong in some of our member States. I cannot say what the outcome of this will be, but the Questions are there and they are Part of our Mission. We must ensure that those questions are properly Elucidated, and that is why when discussing this report, such matters are on our Agenda. It is important to send out the message that we (CoE) will Keep on the tail of this issue, and we will Not Let it go", Fisher warned.

    -Speaking on behalf of the "Left" Group, MEP Ms Kavvadia from Greece, acknowledged the Fact that, -"There is no doubt that the events in Cologne were Very Serious, and ...we do not have a clear picture of those events".  - Of course the Perpetrators must be Prosecuted and Punished – there can be No Tolerance of these types of Horrific Events and Behaviour", she denounced.


    - "But ...there is no indication that this event was somehow linked to the increased flow of refugees from Syria, or that refugees from Syria were .... responsible for it, Exclusively", she claimed, (while obviously keeping in reserve the word : - "Mostly")....  "It is unacceptable to accuse refugees and immigrants", Ms Kavaddia argued.

    - "Let us not forget that 90% of violence against women and sexual harassment still happens at (the Family) Home, where nobody else can see it", focused in her intervention on behalf of the Socialist Group, MEP Ms Sutter, from Belgium, (perhaps in order to ensure Koeln's Victims ...)

    - "No religious, cultural, ethnic or other Difference can Excuse certain Behaviour – it canNot excuse the Violence", and "Honest Reporting is Important in that regard", stressed, on the Contrary, Ms Reps from Estonia, on behalf of the LIberal Group of MEPs.


    + "Clearly, as we all agree, Not All asylum seekers are Terrorists; they are Not All running around on the Streets of our Europe trying to Harass somebody"...


    - "However, ...Violence inside these Communities and inside the Refugee Camps and Asylum seeker Centres, is, Unfortunately, More common than we would like". And +"Children are Disappearing from those centres, with some being Sold on the Streets....Those are also the issues we are tackling in this institution and we Need to Discuss them, Too", MEP Reps Denounced, in Addition, concerning, indeed, 2 Other Topical Problems, (the 1st already Denounced by several German Police Officers, who have Complaint at various Media that their Superiors systematicaly Hinder even to Speak to the Press about Brutal Violent Incidents, Harassments, etc, inside the Recent Mass Asylum Seekers/irregular Migrants' offered Housing ; while the 2nd, about Abused Children, is just Starting to emerge in the Media now).


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     - " An Attempt was being made to Brush under the carpet Crimes that had to be Examined and Reported properly", denounced from the outset Sir Roger Dale, speaking on behalf of the European Conservatives Group of MEPs.


    >>> - "This is not just a German problem or a Migrant problem; it is a problem of a Revolting Crime, which also takes place in Sweden and in Britain, and canNot be Tolerated, no matter which group of people it is perpetrated by, no matter where in the EU and the wider Europe", he pointed out.


    + "As the former Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Media and Information Society of this (CoE) Assembly and as a Journalist, and as one who has sought and fought to protect the rights and the freedoms of journalists throughout the CoE territories, is that it is clear to me that Editorial Control and Editorial Suppression has been exercised, and that Journalists have been Prevented from properly and honestly Reporting matters of very Grave Concern. That, too, is Intolerable", the mainstream Brittish MEP Criticized, as far as Media Muzzling is concerned.


    => "That is a Disgrace. As Mr Fischer (EPP Representative and Head of German Delegation : Comp. Supra) said, this is Not an issue that can or will be allowed by this Assembly to Go away. We shall Pursue it Relentlessly, because if we are to succeed in the work that we are here (at the CoE) to do, we have to be open and honest, and we have to Demand that openness and Honesty of those who Control our Media", Sir Roger Dale vowed in Conclusion.

    - "This (is an) Important Issue", which "is Attracting Extraordinary Attention around the World Today. The events in Cologne and Elsewhere Shocked us and led to Angry Reactions", about "an an issue that should not be seen in isolation. We Fear that such issues May crop up Again in Future", Warned Rosza Hoffmann, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from Hungary.


    >>> - "it is necessary to make it clear that the events in Cologne go Beyond the issue of "Violence against Women"", she stressed. "In (the) Opinion ... of Many Politicians, ...supported by the Facts (f.ex. "more than 750 Acts of Violence happened in Cologne" alone, given also the Number of more 760 Complaints already lodged), "the events .. represent a New Dimension of Criminality in Europe (as even the German Minister of Justice has notoriously declared earlier in many Media), and "are a Consequence of Mass Migration", as she Added, apparently referring to that Unprcedented "Tsunami" of Mass Asylum Seekers/irregular Migrants who suddenly came through Turkey since the Autumn of 2015. - "Only in Times of War, we (Europeans) have Experienced this Type of Organised Violence", she reminded.


    => -"Those who Refuse to engage in such an Honest and responsible Debate, (i.e. attempt to Banalize the issue, by Hidding it behind a vague "Violence against Women", in general), are facilitating Radical, simple responses, and are playing into the hands of the Perpetrators", MEP Hoffman accused.


    >>> - In addition to Counter-Violence Measures, and to "the Role of the Press", what is Needed is to act, "most importantly, (on) Migration and Integration. ... We must make it absolutely Clear that Migrants should adapt to, and accept European Values", she urged.


     -' The public must be informed promptly and honestly on all those issues. We will Return to the matter After the necessary Inquiries have been conducted, and when we have Full Knowledge of the Facts" Hoffman vowed for the foreseable Future, joining also Fischer and Sir Gale, etc (Comp. Supra).
    
  - "The violent attacks on women that occurred in cities in Germany, Austria and Sweden (etc) have left us perplexed and shocked. They have generated great uneasiness in our societies, and there are several Questions to answer. The attacks happened at the same time, but how could that have been Planned? What Messages were sent in these circles? Who was the Instigator? ....  "What was the motivation? Was it aggression or frustration, or did they simply want to create Fear and Terror? ", pertinently asked  Luxembourg's MEP Ms Hetto-Gaash.


    - "All the people who come to our countries, ....must comply with our Laws, Norms and Habits. ....If they do not, they should no longer remain. ... from the beginning, we must have Common Rules for living in the country, which must be 100% Respected. Let us make them better known and altogether Defend our Common Values", she urged.


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    - "We must analyse What is Behind the Attacks against women in cities. Why are they organised? .... Is it possible that the Crimes are committed to Disturb social Peace and Stability?", wondered also Finnish MEP Ms Kalmari.


    - "In my home country (Finland), every asylum seeker staying in a refugee centre must Sign a Declaration, stating that he or she will Comply with Finnish legislation and Respect basic Values. A Criminal asylum seeker who does Not accept those conditions, may be Sent Back", she recommended.


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    -"The events made Headlines across Europe, not only because of the overt and very public nature of the attacks, but because of their Coincidence in Time, and their sheer Scale, in terms of the Number of Perpetrators and Victims....Much has been made of the Foreign appearance of the Attackers, and this inevitably led to Question about Mass Migration and its influence on communities", observed MEP Robinson.


    - But, "some Women reportedly Asked the Police for help, and were told that there were Not enough police officers available to help them, or were Discouraged from filing complaints at all", she Denounced.


    - Most Important : "A Worrying aspect of the events is the apparent initial Hesitation, both of the Police to record and investigate the crimes, and of the Press to report them. The suggestion has been made that this was because any reporting of the Foreign appearance of the men would be perceived as racist and perhaps inflammatory". But, as a matter of General Principle, "The press and media have a responsibility to report events in an objective way; more importantly, they should report honestly", Ms Robinson stressed.


    - Also because, otherwise, f.ex., "Fear is the Enemy of Freedom. It Stops People Reporting Crime, and makes the Press Reluctant to write about it. Hopefully, this report and debate may go some way to Replacing the climate of Fear, with one of open and honest Discussion", concluded. MEP Robinson.


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       - "As of 21 January, the total number of 0ffences was 821", (at least in some German Cities), anounced German MEP Ms Rawert. But, until now, Only "30 individuals were apprehended, and 7 (seven) are now under preliminary detention". ....


    - "All those Incidents were perpetrated by Foreigners", she observed, (but without distinguishuing yet if it concerned the controversial Recent Mass Influx through Turkey, or Others).


    - "We must underline that there have to be Consequences to these kinds of Crimes", MEP Rawert stressed.


    => "Over 100 0rganisations throughout Europe have Called for the following", she read :


      - “We Need to Talk about Cologne". - "We, refugee and migrant communities settled in different EU countries, from different nationalities and backgrounds, strongly Condemn the recent sexual Attacks against Women in Germany. We would like to express our sorrow and sympathy to the victims of these Terrible attacks. .... Perpetrators should be Prosecuted and convicted. It is Important now to clarify and understand What Happened, so that people, in particular women, feel Safe again, Justice can be done, and further violence prevented. We did not flee violence there to accept it here.”


    - "Our job, when it comes to human rights and the rule of law, is to not allow .. to Divide us", MEP Rawert concluded.


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-"This is an important moment in time. .....this subject, ...is important, because it concerns individual >Responsibility and liability – a Crucial matter when it comes to Human Rights", stressed from the outset French MEP Ms Le Dain.


-"t was individual women who were Violently Attacked, Groped and Harassed. That will have Severe Effects on some of them". Moreover, "Of course it is Serious" for all Victims, because "Each Woman will be Traumatised", she Denounced.


- "We need to Say things as they are – to pin things down with words. We are talking about Facts and the individual Stories of those Poor Women, who have been Terrified. We need to Look for those men and, if we can Find them, (something which, normaly, should be rather Easy, since Mobile Phones and Internet were reportedly used Widely for such "Concerted" Attacks, Committed evebn in Front of Local/Regional NRW Police, Witnesses in Public, etc), as even the German Minister of Justice has notoriously denounced), "they Need to be Prosecuted", she concluded.


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- "Our discussion came about from the mass harassment of women on new year's eve near Cologne cathedral", but, "we have to be honest and Frank in the context of the Cologne incident, which is only the Tip of the Iceberg, because it has gradually emerged that there were More Incidents of harassment of women in Public places Last Year across Europe", Warned Estonian MEP Ms Mikko.


+ In Addition, "the Criticism of the Media ...is Justified, and (even) the (Local/Regional, since in the German Federation there is No National) Police have kept Quiet about those incidents. It is Extremely Important that No institution Sweep things under the carpet or Embellish Facts. No matter how uncomfortable the facts may be, we (CoE) Have to Talk about them. Only an Honest analysis will allow us to Overcome the Disease", she Denounced, as far as the astonishing Media and Police Muzzling is concerned.


=> "Last but not least, according to ancient Greek mythology Europe is a Woman. Men with Different Cultural backgrounds and Religions, have to Understand that EUROPE IS NOT A WHORE !. Europe is a Woman who needs to be Respected, by Everyone", MEP Mikko concluded, with a Spectacular condensation...


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     - "All Europe was quite rightly Shocked by the recent Attacks against women, particularly those on new year’s eve : - Physical and even Sexual Aggressions were committed in Several Countries throughout Europe, including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, France and probably Elsewhere", denunced from the outset Experienced French senator Jean-Claude Frecon (PS), who is also CLRAE President and might play an Important role soon, f.ex. as far as the Controversial abuse of German Region "NRW"'s Police is concerned, both for Blocking and Not Helping the Victims, for Hiding the Truth, and for Dispersing by Force the Biggest Popular Demonstration of Protest at Koeln).


    + Moreover, "the Scale of those Attacks is Unparalleled, particularly in Germany, where 1 076 (i.e. More than a Thousand !) Complaints were lodged", f.ex. "in Cologne and Düsseldorf", as President Frecon observed, Augmenting the still Evolving Number of official Victims.


     => "Such attacks are Not acceptable in Europe, or elsewhere. We must do Everything we can"  to eradicate them : -"Zero Tolerance must be the order of the day. The Police and the Courts must make sure that Exemplary Punishment is handed down to those who are Guilty of these Crimes. There are No Excuses, especially Not the Origin of those who have committed the crimes. It is Not important where they Come from – they are Criminals and Delinquents", he Strongly Denounced.


     + While also advising to "Avoid Generalisations : Families who are Fleeing Wars in Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan should Not have to Pay the price for the Acts of a Minority", Frecon pointed out.


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    - Obviously, Compared to More than a Thousand of Complaints officially lodged, just in 2 Cities of Germany, for such serious Mob Brutal Attacks against Defenseless Young Girls and Women, as President Frecon (PSoc.) just Denounced, (See Above), a simple mention of "75 Declared (?) Attacks against Immigrants in Germany", in general, as MEP Catrivanou (Left) from Greece noted, but without even Saying Anything about their estimated more or less Seriousness, Not even mentioning their Content, etc, canNot impress, (even if, in such matters, often, even 1 can already be too much)...


    - But she was probably Right at least when she Warned that "One thing is clear: we canNot fight to Protect 0ne Part of the community, Against anOther, because Human Rights come as A Package. The community of Europe must Not Break apart".


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    - "We Rely on our Media to report honestly, openly and Without Fear or favour, .... Failing to Recognise Crimes is a Betrayal, not only of the Victims, but of the overwhelming Majority of our immigrant and faith Communities, who are every bit as Sickened by such Crimes as everyone else". Because "Victims of attacks Always deserve our Protection, Regardless of the Perpetrator. Part of that protection must mean Recognising such Crimes and Reporting them as the Media would report Other Crimes of a Similar nature. When ... Serious Crimes are Not Reported, because of Sensitivity about the Offenders, it fuels the Conspiracy theories", Criticized British MEP Wood.


    F.ex., "In Britain, we have seen the Tragic consequences of self-Censorship preventing Crimes from being Reported, for Fear of being seen as Racist. ...."political correctness" of that kind Prevented a co-ordinated campaign of Child Sexual exploitation from being properly Reported, and ...social services Failed to act as early as they should have done to tackle the Gangs behind the exploitation. We cannot afford such mistakes to be repeated", he Warned, speaking of a really Horrible Series of Abominable Crimes repeatedly and systematicaly committed for many Years, against mainly Poor Children, Scandalously Trapped in a Local Corrupted System, (See, f.ex., an excellent article of "The Guardian", updated and commented by "Eurofora", at : .....).


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           - On the Contrary, for Socialist Swedish MEP Ms Ohlsson, the simple "fact of women being Sexually Assaulted by men is NOT NEWS (sic !) for me, for us in the Assembly, or for most women", as she claimed, obviously banalizing the issue by merely concluding that more CoE Member States should simply endorse the pre-existing "Istanbul Convention", (a Turkey-backed Text which has Failed to attract more than a Minority of States, perhaps also because it's less about Public Areas, but more on Surveillance and Interference in Private and Family affairs, with the Risk to provoke Blunders, as f.ex. the Scandal of the Brutal Killing of a Father, Kurdish Refugee traumatized by Torture in Turkish Prisons, pushed to Death inside his own Family Home, by Policemen Attacking him with Clubs, Gas, etc, after intruding Violently under pretext of a Banal Domestic Quarrel: A Shocking Video revealed through the Internet this Horrible Deadly Abuse since the beginning of the Decade 2000-2010), rather than do anything new now to protect many Thousands of Victims, Brutaly Attacked by concerted sMobs of Thousands, in just a few Hours in front of the Public, shameleshly, (and, until now, with Total Impunity)...


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    But, Young Swedish MEP Julia Kronlid, immediately Rectified the Facts about the Mob Attacks, after her compatriot's "Not News" Paradox (Comp. Supra) :


    - "What is New is the phenomenon of a Large Number of men Surrounding and Attacking a large number of Women, to the extent that the Police have Difficulty Controlling the situation". +"What is also New is the Reluctance (of Establishment's Media) to bring these events to Light, for whatever reason. Our debate on how to face such Serious Events, is therefore Very Timely, MEP Kronlid observed in reply.


    => Therefore, "it is Important that those Responsible for such Crimes are brought to Justice, without any consideration being given to their origin", she stressed.  + Moreover, in order "to Prevent the Problem from Spreading further and ultimately becoming Unmanageable, we must also be able to draw attention ...in how women and men are viewed ....in some of the Countries that many of the Migrants have left to seek Asylum in Europe. ....we (Europeans) must be Prepared to Defend Our Values", without stigmatising or spreading hate to any group. In fact, we should take the opposite approach: we want to Include new members in Our Society and the Values on which it relies. ....That is why we must work actively to preserve our basic European right of equality, as protected in our Convention on Human Rights. Our Assembly must at all times defend women’s Right to Safety, Security, Dignity and Integrity. On that, there can be No Compromise.


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    + Advancing even Further, MEP Ms Louhelainen, from Finland, stressed from the outset that "We (CoE's Assembly) are Talking about an Important Issue", because "the Rapidly Increasing Number of asylum seekers in Finland has caused a Sense of Insecurity, .... Unfortunately, Some of the asylum seekers do Not Share Our (Europeans') Values :  - In Finland, individual Protection and the Physical and Psychological Integrity of the Person are Basic Rights, that we are Not used to having Questioned, ....and We Want also to protect those Values for the Future' : - I.e., f.ex., "to go to School, to Work, to do our Hobbies or to the Grocery store withOut Fear". But, recently, on the Contrary, "a Feeling of Insecurity has surged among Finns, as Sexual Harassment and even Rape have Increased, unfortunately through acts that are Also committed by Asylum seekers. We have heard of Similar Cases from All over Europe, and that canNot and shall Not be accepted", she Firmly Denounced.


     => - "As a result of the situation, in Finland Children are Afraid to go to School, Young people are Banned from going Out in the Evenings, and the Elderly are Scared to go to the Grocery store, ....That has led to Debate among the Citizens of Finland about the Need for Independent street Patrols to Ensure the Safety of the original population", the Finnish MEP described.


    ++, In Additon, even if "the Medias play an Important role in How such Issues are Reported, and in what can be Said about them in Public", nevertheless, "We all know of various Side-effects connected to immigration and asylum seekers, but such Views are too often Silenced. The "Racist" card is quickly raised when such issues are Discussed Critically. However, we Must be able to address the problems Comprehensively, using their own names and without fanatism. Unfortunately, being Critical is often labelled as "Hate" speech" between Citizens. But, Moreover, "I could not agree more with what the (CoE) Rapporteur points out ....about the Media’s Responsibility to Report the Facts, objectively and Truthfully. COE ... must also Highlight the Responsibility of the Media", MEP Louhelenain urged in Conclusion, obviously criticizing the more than 5 Days-long Muzzling of Establishment's Media in Germany about the NYE Attacks, shortly after a Similar Phenomenon in Sweden, etc., while many Police Officers had already Started to Complaint for frequent Prohibitions, recently, to Report the Full Truth even about various Violent Incidents repeated recently at the Heart of Europe...


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    - Even the President of CoE Assembly's Committee on Migration and Refugees, as well as "Rapporteur ...on Violence against Women", Azeri MEP Sahiba Gafarova, who felt that "instigating this Debate and" Drafting a special "Report, ...is Timely and Necessary", "Firmly Condemn(ed) the Mass Sexual Assaults perpetrated on 31 December (2015), not only in Germany, but (also) in Austria, Finland and Switzerland" (etc., f.ex. + Sweden, the UK, etc : Comp. Supra).


 => - In consequence, "such Violations of women’s Rights can Neither be Tolerated, Nor remain Unpunished. ... Perpetrators must be brought to Justice, as there should be Zero Tolerance of Violence", the President of Refugee/Migrants' CoE Committee clrealy concluded.


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>>> Ukranian MEP, Sirhil Kiral, was among those who touched upon the - Crucial in real practice - Media Muzzling Scandal, searching the Causes :


    - "This is an Important Debate", MEP Kiral stressed from the outset. - "We can talk about "Media Conspiracies", But reporting quality has a direct Link to the solid Facts and information the Media can Access, which Should have been Provided by the Authorities and Law-Enforcement Agencies. (I.e., in the case of Germany, which has No Federal Police, it's mainly the NRW Region's Police responsible for Koeln, etc., currently governed by Socialists). However, "the Authorities did Not perform well, perhaps due to inExperience, or a fear of damaging nationwide Refugee Policies, or because they were striving to secure peace and order by Any Means", (NDLR : i.e., Even by Covering up Crimes ?")l. This "led to Adverse outcomes", he observed.
- However, "although there are References to Poor Police performance throughout the (CoE's) Report, it is Not clearly mentioned in the Resolution", MEP Kiral rightfully  Criticized, ataan obviously Crucial point :


Indeed, according to many German Media Reports, the NRW Laender's Police, first Blocked many Young Girls living at the Suburbs and/or nearby Villages, by unexpectedly Closing Koeln's Central Station, i.e. practicaly Throwing them to the Ambush of Mob Aggressors who had Gathered by a Concerted action of Thousands precisely between the Central Station and the Cathedral. Then, astonishingly, it didn't even intervene to Try to Save not even 1 among the Many Victims during the Brutal Mob Attacks, not even when they were committed right in Front of their Eyes. Afterwards they Published Fake "News", which Covered up all those Crimes for Many Days, (apparently Obeying to some Orders Not to mention any Wrong-doing committed by Mass Asylum Seakers/Migrants recently arrived through Turkey). Last, but not least, according also to their own official announcement, they Modified, at the Last Minute, the Scheduled Pathway, Stopped, and finaly Dispersed by Force (including Water-Tanks, Gas, Clubs, etc) the Biggest Popular Demonstration organized for People's Protest in Koeln, (without even thinking that at least some among the Victims' Families could have been among those Demonstrators)...


- So that "Today, a Month After the events, we still do Not have a Clear picture of What Happened, and Who or what is Behind it ! Is our System Working Properly?", MEP Kiral rightfuly Questioned.


 => -"Let us get these people down to Work, if not for the good pay, then to Defend and protect the Foundation of Europe, the Equal Rights of men and women. It is probably in the Police and the Judiciary where Real men are Required right Now, ....We Need men who will Act Swiftly to Find the necessary Arguments and Evidence to Bring the Suspects to Trial and Prosecution", Because, "If Suspects are Let off, that will Continue to spur Speculation and Abuse", he Warned.


>>> + Moreover, meanwhile, even in the Biggest EU Country, "Germany, ...is Striving to find Solutions to the Worst Ever "Refugee" Crisis, and ...( Unprecedented Mass) Migration (through Turkey alone) is Undermining its critical Role in tackling this and Other Urgent Issues Worldwide... which are of a Vital and Total Importance", the Ukranian MEP strongly Denounced.


 - In view of such Huge Stakes, when it comes again to the so-called "Istanbul Convention", MEP Keril Soberly "drew attention to the Poor performance in Ratifying" such Conventions, (Comp. Supra)...


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


    In fact, MEDIA Muzzling was at CoE's Focus from the Start : The Initial Title of this Report/Resolution/Debate voted by the Plenary last Monday, was about "The Protection of Women, and the Honest Reporting of Unpalatable Truths". But it was, later-on, Changed into : "Recent Attacks against Women in European Cities - the Need for a Comprehensive Response", during a Closed Doors session of a Committee, later-on, (which obviously Ameliorated a bit the 1st Point, but Dumbened down to almost Total Obscurity, the 2nd and Crucial point on Media Muzzling : Comp. Supra).


    => - That's why UK MEP Mr Howell referred to CoE Assembly'"s "Recommendation on "Media .. and Ethics", observing that,  "Although our (CoE's) Programmes are aimed at Countries such as those of South-East Europe, action may Need to be taken Closer to Home, including in Germany, Sweden and the UK"....


    - "The Problem is Not (only) a German one. True... International news Agencies have an important role to play, in ensuring that a Truthful picture is presented in a timely manner. They are to Blame for Not having done so in this case", MEP Howell denounced.


    >>> - Therefore,  CoE's "Assembly should conduct an Investigation into Why Media outlets Delayed reporting the Truth about the Dreadful Attacks on women to the public".  Because "ask for an Investigation into Only the Attacks themselves, rather Misses the (Crucial) Point", the Experienced Brittish MEP Criticized. - "Not to conduct such an investigation would Undermine the fine words we have stated about the Media across Europe on many occasions and the CoE's various Reports on the issue. Most Importantly, it would Diminish the Seriousness of the Attacks on those Poor, Unfortunate Women", Howell Warned.


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

 

ksse_on_women_start_400


    => + "These Attacks contribute to a Climate of Fear, which may enDanger the Democratic Pillars of our Societies", Denounced in Fine CoE's Rapporteur, Jonas Gunnarson, an Experienced Socialist MEP from one of the affected Countries : Sweden.


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

(../..)

[NDLR : Russian MEPs, one of the Biggest Delegations to CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, were Hindered to Participate also to this Debate, due to a still perduring, unprecedented incident, since 2014, (on which "Eurofora" has already reported several times, right from the start). If they had been really free to use all their MEP's Rights, given the respective positions of each Country, one would normaly expect an even much More "Hotter" Discussion, and, perhaps, a quite Sharper Resolution...]


***

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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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