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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

Parašė ACM
Friday, September 15, 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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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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