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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: Life-long Genetic AppartHeid accepted + incited by Report drafted in Strange Context ?!

CoE: Life-long Genetic AppartHeid accepted + incited by Report drafted in Strange Context ?!

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- A very "Tricky" CoE Report, Debated and Voted Tomorrow, on the "Hottest" BioEthical Issue: that of "new  Genetic Technologies" that could be "used" (sic!) "in Human Beings", with notorious Risks for all Humankind in case of possible Abuse, despite some False,  superficial Appearances, contains, in fact, so Many and Big "Loopholes", even  indirect but real Attempts to ...Impose them, that, instead of "Protecting" Humanity, as it claims, on the contrary, it thrreatens to slyly Doom it !


The Time Deadline for Tabling written Amendments Ending Today (Wednesday) Afternoon, in a few Hours (17h), this Note is obliged to be Short, (and should be UpDated Later-on) :


- In fact, that Draft Asks Only to "Ban a Pregnancy with GermLine Cells (transmissible to Next Generations), or Human Embryos having undergone Intentional Genome Editing", as it says.


=> But, it curiously leaves Open any Other Genetic Manipulation, even if it might have ...Life-long Effects !


+ Moreover, Even if it might be Transmissible to Next Generations, such a Genetic Manipulation is Accepted, if Critics canNot Prouve that it is "Intentional"...


++ Going even Further, its Author Repeatedly Claims, vaguely, that "Recent Technologies ... related to Human Genome" would have big "Potential Benefits" (sic !).


However, it's also a Fact that, even More than 8 Years Later, towards the End (October) of 2017, despite many Millions $ spend, there is Not yet Any Major Medical Breakthrough to mark since the Early (March) 2009 Decision of Obama to Lift the Prohibition of Federal Funding for Projects using Genetic Manipulation of Human Embryos, (that former US President GWBUsh had OutLawed Shortly before 9/11, in the Middle of August 2001).


+Going even Beyond that, it also Asks a CoE's  "Recommendation", and/or "Legal Framework", explicitly Authorizing (i.e., in brief : Imposing) such "New Genetic Technologies"...


For the rest, that Controversial Draft speaks also about some undetermined "Public Debates", etc., before Final Decisions, (which seem to arrive Soon, given that "New [Genetic] Technologies are Developing very Rapidly", as it warns.

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PACE's vice-President, Experienced mainstream MEP Valeriu Ghiletchi told us that the overall line due to be followed Tomorrow by 5 critical Amendments due to be tabled asap, would be, mainly, to "Defend the (CoE's 1998) Oviedo Treaty" on BioEthics.


But, when it had been Drafted, back on 1997 at the CoE in Strasbourg, "Eurofora'"s co-Founder remembers well that the 2 German Experts participating in that huge Collective endeavour, had, astonishingly, Left that Meeting Shouting, and run to Alert the Journalists working in the CoE that the adopted Text for that particular version of the BioEthical Convention had Big Loopholes on Dangerous Issues, (f.ex. Human Embryo,  well Informed Acceptance, etc.) and should be Rejected. That's why Germany,, and some Other Countries had Refused to sign then...


As for the MEP who Drafted that Nowadays Report,  Petra de Sutter, a Socialist from Belgium, she has become Notorious for provoking, Earlier, a Strong Popular and MEPs' Protest against a Previous Report she had Drafted, also alone, on anOther BioEthical Issue (including "Gender", etc), resulting in a Referal Back to Committee and afterwards in Strong Amendments.


But, this Time, such an even much More Important BioEthical Issue was, apparently, treated rather Superficially, behind Closed Doors of an obscure Social and Health Committee Meeting, back on April 2017...


... I.e., by another "Coincidence", almost Precisely at the very Moment that an UnPrecedented Harassment started against the then President of CoE's Assembly, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Pedro Agramunt, under various Other Pretexts, in order to make him ...Resign, exactly when that Controversial Report is now going to be Debated and Voted by that Assembly : October 2017 !


+In Addition, at the Same Time, his Group: that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, traditionaly Interested in BioEthical Issues, was, suddenly ... Divided by 2 Different Candidates for Agramunt's Succession, inevitably Weakening and/or Diverting the Attention of that Group Elsewhere, at the most Crucial moment...

 

Meanwhile, the only Public Debate and Vote on such a "Hot" and Controversial Issue of great and Topical Importance for all Humankind, was Scheduled on PACE's Agenda just After several among the Most Important Reports of this Autumn 2017 Session, such as : on ISIS' Crimes against Humanity, an Exceptional Top Level Meeting between CoE's Committee of Ministers and MEPs on Russia, the recent and still on-going Developments on Catalonia's attempts for Secessionism, Ukraine, etc. : I.e. after many obvious Mediatic HeavyWeights... Moreover, on the Top of all this, was even Added, immediatly afterwards, also  Debate against so-called "Discriminations" of ..."Trans-Gender" individuals, (which currently Rocks amidst the Anti-Trump Establishment from Calif ornia up to Wash.DC) !

So that, for any Journalist, eventually ambitioning to at least Follow, and if possible Cover seriously for the Press, all those Topical Debates and Votes scheduled for Today up to 8 o'clock p.m. at the Evening, almost at the Same Time as the above-mentioned Crucial BioEthical Issue for all Humankind, (Comp. Supra), he should, apparently, have already become a ... "Mutant", (or, Otherwise, he would be obviously Hindered, in real Practice)...

 


(../..)


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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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