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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Commissioner Mujnieks+IPCAN Head Toubon to EF: Terror Suspects+Victims' Rights v. Police

CoE Commissioner Mujnieks+IPCAN Head Toubon to EF: Terror Suspects+Victims' Rights v. Police

Written by ACM
Friday, 15 September 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- In fact, it's on their main Duty to Protect Humanity against Barbarism, that conscientious Policemen have to Focus, Both when they must be Tough, Fast, Bold and Smart in order to Save Innocent People and the Society from Islamist a.o. Deadly Terrorist Attacks, and when they must Take Care to Avoid or Rectify on time eventual Abuses of the Powers that Society entrusts to them, agreed the Experienced Head of the IPCAN European Network of Human Rights Watchdogs on Police Activities, former Minister and currently Ombudsman in France, Jacques Toubon, speaking to "Eurofora" at the Conclusion of a Press Conference on a 2 Days Long PanEuropean Colloquy co-organized with the CoE on the Respect of Citizens'" Rights and Freedoms in the Context of Strengthening the Fight against Terrorism".

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This rare event, including Police Watchdogs from several European States, Human Rights' Defenders (including from the EU and CoE, etc) and experienced Police Oficers, took place right in front of the ECHR's Building in Strasbourg, but also the Same Day that a New Terrorist Attack stroke earlier this Morning at London's Subway, making about 30 Wounded Victims, closely Followed also by 2 Knife and Hammer Islamist Terrorist Attacks in France against Police or Civilian Women in France.


Toubon, as well as COE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, together with British and Danish Representatives of that unique "Independent Police Complaints Authorities' Network" (IPCAN), Replied earlier, During that main Press Conference at the CoE to a series of Topical "Eurofora"s Questions, Starting by one on the obvious, Today, need to Balance Both Terrorism Suspects', and Terrorism Victims' Human Rights adequately, in an "Increased Tension", nowadays, that CoE's Conference had earlier noted, between a Need to Protect, but also to Respect People, wondering how, concretely, a desired Extension of Independent Ovesight Authorities could practicaly help to Tackle this issue in the forseable Future :


(Recently, indeed, some Islamist Terror's Victims' Families had reportedly Criticized what they found as Lack of elementary Protection, f.ex. vis a vis ISIL's Deadly Attacks in Paris, at "Bataclan", on 2015, followed also by those at Nice, on 2016, etc. as well as in other similar incidents in Europe, as "Eurofora" reminded, citting also Articles 1, 2, 3 and 13 of the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights, etc).


- Indeed, a Citizens' "Right to Safety", is something recognized "since Long", (f.ex. even since the French Revolution's Declaration of Rights, already as early as "since 1789"), and, "therefore, ECHR", in fact, Nowadays, "tries to strike a Balance between what is Necessary for that Legitimate Right to Security, and the Guarantees of the Fundamental Freedoms for all", as a matter of principle, President Toubon replied.


 - "It's in this Framework, that we speak about the Rights of the Victims, f.ex. of the recent Terrorist Attacks, on which we have recently worked", Toubon, who is also France's Ombudsman or, alias, "Defender of Rights", added in his Reply to that 1st "Eurofora"s Question.


 - "As far as it concerns, now, Police's Behavior, according to IPCAN's official Declaration, adopted Today in Strasbourg, those People who might Feel to have Suffered from ill-treatment by the Police, must be able to easily Present their Complaints, in order to be Examined by an Independent Authority", he stressed.


   - "In addition, naturaly, to the fact that Courts are always available for eventual Criminal Sanctions", in both cases.


    + "Human Rights are, obviously, for Everybody, withOut Distinguising between Victims and Perpetrators, Guilty or Innocent", etc., in cases of Terrorism, and People's "fundamental Right to get Protection is a Fundamental Issue, also for all Society", went on to Add, in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question, also Brittish deputy Chairwoman of UK's Independen Police Complaint Commission (IPCC), Sarah Green.


  - As far as "the Independent oversight of Police's Actions" is concerned, including States' Duty to found "Really Independent" Bodies, this still is, "an On-Going Challenge", Mrs Green went on to say. It's also "Important, in terms of Public Confidence", that "every day, we can prove, that any Investigation that we make, has an Added Value", she advised.


  => F.ex., Replying also to anOther, Specific "Eurofora" Question, on the Notorious Tragic case of an Innocent Brazilian Student, Jean-Charles Menedez (da Silva), a White Christian curiously, Erroneously Confused with an Arab Muslim Islamist Terror Suspect of Suicide-Bomb Attacks, and Brutally Shot and Killed by some London Policemen, Back on 2005, (i.e. just After the First Terror Bombings in London's Subway and in a Bus, which had just Killed or Wounded Many other Civilian People), Green found, in substance, that IPCC's Critical Investigations on that Blunder, even if they concerned an "Old Case", still were, indeed, "Worth Reflecting" on how to act in Recent Cases.


    - Even if the situation might have become "Completely Different" nowadays, f.ex. during "the Recent Terror Attacks", we have found that it's better to "Work Closely" with the Police, "while Respecting our Boundaries", and that Tragic Affair had Helped to do a useful "Learning", she concluded.


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


    - Danish Director of the "Independant Police Complaints Authority" (IPCA) at Copenhagen, Kyrsten Dyrman, replying also to "Eurofora"'s Questions, stressed, in particular, that, one among the Main Conclusions of an "Evaluation" that we made, was that, "for the Danish People", the "Independance" of a Police Oversigt Body, as ours, was something "very Important".


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

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    + Returning back to "Eurofora"s Initial Question "about the Victims of Terrorism", CoE's PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, replied that, at least, "Human Rights can Help them Not to become Doubly Victimized" :


    - F.ex., at the South-East of Turkey, Ankara's Authorities had so much "Over-Reacted" to some Terrorist Attacks, that they had Destroyed a lot of Vilages, and Violently "Displaced many Hundrends of Thousands of People !", CoE's Commissioner Denounced.


    - But, "according to a Human Rights approach, any Reaction has to be Strictly Proportional to what is really Needed", Muiznieks reminded, as a matter of Principle.


     - Therefore, Human Rights can Help also Victims of Terrorism, Not to be "Dually Victimized", he concluded.


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

 
    IPCAN's next Bi-Annual Conference is due to take place on 2019 in the UK, announced, in fine of Today's Press Conference, President Toubon.
    And it's due to Focus on the Need to Build "Trust" between the Police and some Communities, he added.


    I.e. an issue on which, at least as far as it concerns the recent Deadly Islamist Terrorist Attacks targetting innocent Civilian Peopla are concerned, the above-mentioned Opposition between "Humanity and Barbarism" (Comp. Supra), could certainly he Helpful, Toubon agreed with "Eurofora".

 (../..)

    
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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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