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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

Geschrieben von ACM
Montag, 30 Oktober 2017

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Among the most Topical Questions that the PanEuropean Organisation's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, former Prime Minister of Norway and NOBEL Peace Prize Oslo Committee's Chair, and New French President, Emmanuel Macron, (who is due to Chair the CoE on 2019) are due to Discuss, Tomorrow, about Noon, at CoE's "European Palace", in Strasbourg, for about 2O or 30 Minutes, might also be the Russian Issue, confirmed to "Eurofora", CoE's Communications' Director, and Press Spokesman, David Holtgen.   

   
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    - "I Think (that) it's quite Possible, because they Spoke about Russia also the Last Time, in Paris, at the End of August" 2017, where it was "Part of the Discussion", he reminded, in Reply to our relevant Question.


    Controversial moves in CoE's Assembly had striped Russian MEPs from their Voting and key Participation Rights, back on 2014 and 2015, on Pretext of the Conflict between a Kiev's new Government and pro-Autonomy Donetsk/Luhansk Regions, as well as Crimea's ReUnification with mainland Russia, following a Violent Change of Regime, partly Provoked by some Strange Deadly "Snipers" curiously Killing Both Demonstrators and Policemen, (as former Estonian Foreign Minister, and currently MEP, Paet had noted), so that a written Agreement between former President Yanukovich and the Dissidents, brokered with the Help of French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, for Amnesty, a National Unity Government, and New Elections before the End of the Year, was Droped, Dividing the Country.


    Moscow reacted to PACE's Sanctions by Withdrawing its MEPs, and Recently Started to Stop Paying its Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget (+10% of the Total), until respect for its MEPs' Rights would be Guaranteed. For Next Year, the Last Opportunity to find a Compromise is on January 2018.


    + Meanwhile, CoE is just Starting to Prepare an Exceptional New Summit of Heads of State/Government from All its 47 Member States (including Russia), and that Divisive Issue was Recently Discussed Both by its Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly, as a Problem to Solve asap.


    - So, "I think, yes, I'd Expect that they Will Speak (also) about Russia Tomorrow", Holtgen clearly reiterated.


    - Meanwhile, as far as it concerns Jagland's recent Visit to Moscow, CoE's Spokesman has already observed that "he had Constructive Meetings, with 3 or 4 Partners there", including "the Foreign Minister Mr (Sergei) Lavrov, with the President of the Federation Councli, (Valentina) Matvienko, with the (New) Speaker of the Duma, (Vyacheslav) Volontin, and with the Human Rights' (New) OmbudsWoman", (Tatiana Moskalkova), as he reminded.


    - "All Together, it was a Constructive Visit, and, Yes, We (CoE) Hope that a Solution can be found", the Press Spokesman concluded, apparently implying that much needs yet to be done.


     - So, "I think that this will be Also a Topic when Jagland meets Macron, Tomorrow", Holtgen confirmed.


     - In Fact, it is Expected that "this would be more about the (PanEuropean) Convention (on Human Rights), the Council of Europe (itself, which notoriously eyes a New Heads of State/Government Summit to prepare for 2019, while France is due to undertake its Rotating Chairmanship), and the (Russian) Membership to the Council", he Highlighted.


     - "I will be there, at that Meeting", between COE's Secretary General and the new French President, "But we shall Wait (before saying anything in Public), at least "until the conclusion of his Speech" at the ECHR, he warned.


    - Because, Tomorrow, "All Eyes will be on Macron !", who is "Expected", inter alia, f.ex., "to Announce", eventually, "the End of the State of Emergency" in France, after having been Hardly hit by Deadly Islamist Terrorism, nowadays in The course of being Defeated in Syria and Iraq, (as Macron had previously Estimated), "and put that against the Background of the (PanEuropean) Court", he speculated.


    - On the Contrary, Despite recent Developments on Syria/Iraq, "I don't expect that to be an issue here" in Strasbourg, Now, Holtgen, perhaps too quickly droped a relevant "Eurofora"s question, Despite the Fact that Famous Yazidi Lady, Nadia Murad, former Prisoner of ISIS' Terrorists, who was Awarded Both CoE's prestigious "Vaklav Havel" Prize and EU Parliament's "Zacharov" Prize, has Notoriously Denounced the Scandalous Impunity of RingLeaders and Instigators of Horrible Crimes which have systematically Targetted innocent Civilian People. And she Met with French Foreign Minister Drian in Paris just before his Venue in Strasbourg last September 2017, where CoE's Parliamentary Assembly has, more Recently, Earlier this October 2017, debated and Adopted a Resolution Asking for Justice to be done and all those Responsible for Genocide attempts and Other such Heavy and Sadic Crimes to be Found, Judged and Punished, according to ECHR's case-law.


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    + Meanwhile, the recently Elected, New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, Head of Cyprus' Delegation, Stella Kuyriakides, a ChristianDemocat/EPP MEP, former Chairwoman of PACE's Social, Health and Sustainable Development Committee, (See, f.ex., her Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on her Forthcoming Agenda, during the Short but Crucial for CoE - Russia relations, Period of October 2017 - 22 January 2018, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentkyriakidestoeurofora.html +Other Relevant NewsReports at ..., etc), might usefully Help on that pending and "Hot" matter, Holtgen estimated :


 - "I would say that, the New President of PACE, definitively Plays a Key Role in a possible Solution" of the Russian issue, CoE's Press Spokesman stressed positively.


   Kyriakides, who is also Expected to eventually Visit herself Moscow asap, recently Thanked Russia for the Liberation of 2 Turkish Tatar Dissidents in Crimea, (whose predominantly and Historically Russian-Speaking large Majority of Population, had Largely Voted a Referendum for the Peninsula's Return Back into the Russian Federation, in conditions which, however, were Not Recognized by Most Foreign Countries yet.


 - Even, "quite apart from the SG, (i.e. independently from an eventual "Coordination" between Jagland and Kyriakides, as "Eurofora" suggested), and regardless of the fact that, in the meantime, "there was (an) Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting that she was not able to attend", "However, she said, on her policy towards Moscow, that she Hoped that there will be Possibilities to have a Dialogue with the Russian (MEPs') Delegation (to CoE's Assembly), at a Later Stage".


 - "I reckon and assume that it Will Happen, what she said. And that it will happen in a Timely manner", indeed, Holtgen commented, (while the Moment for Decisions on CoE's Annual Budget for 2018 approaches, with the imminent venue of November 2017, during which CoE's Committee of Ministers has to be Fixed on his overall Financial possibilities for the Year Ahead).


 - That's why, "I definitively think that she (PACE's New President) has a Key Role to Play, also", the PanEuropean Organisation's Press Spokesman concluded in his reply to "Eurofora".

 

+ Recently in Brussels, in a Parallel Move, EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking to Journalists, including "Eurofora", in the Middle of EU Heads of State/Governments' exchanges for the 1st of the 2 Days-Long Summit there (19-20 October 2017), expressed his Regret for the Fact that it has Not Yet been Possible to give him an Official Mandate in order to Negotiate with Russia about the forerseeable Future and Partial or Total, progressive or fast, eventual Lift of Economic Sanctions, (which notoriously Affect also EU Coutries' Economy by Dividing the European Continent, as OECD's experienced Head, Angel Guria, has already Warned "Eurofora", previously at the CoE in Strasbourg: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/oecdheadaskssolutionforukraine.html, etc).


- It's mainly a current "Lack of Unanimity" (and Not of Majority) inside EU's Council, according to what he said, which extended such an Obstacle further. But Juncker apparently believes that EU Commission should get such a Mandate on Time, in view of possible such EU - Russia Talks, by a Timely Coincidence, also around the Beginning of 2018, (See  "Eurofora"s relevant NewsReport from Brussels at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/junckerforeurussia.html).  


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+ Meanwhile, it's also Cyprus' President, Nicos Anastassiades himself, who has just Visited Moscow and met Both with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and with President Vladimir Putin, that is due to eventually meet also with the French President Emmanuel Macron, possibly Next Week in Paris, (as Cyprus' Government Press Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, recently warned "Eurofora" during the latest EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels: Comp. f.ex., also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/merkeloneusummitandturkey.html, etc, from the spot).


Both Russia and France are also Permanent Members of UNO's Security Council, where Paris is currently holding the rotating Chairmanship.

 

(../..)


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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.

imag0335_400


      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).
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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.
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    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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