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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE SG Jagland to EF on meeting German MFA Maas, +Russia-Syria-US: "New Situation"

CoE SG Jagland to EF on meeting German MFA Maas, +Russia-Syria-US: "New Situation"

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 15 January 2019

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 *Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo.Marcopolo/- Experienced twice CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, f. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, speaking to "Eurofora" on his meeting with German Foreign Minister Maas, here, just after Russia-CoE Assembly top Talks with Russia at nearby Geneva yesterday, on the issue of Russian MEPs Voting Rights/Moscow"s Financial Contribution to the organisation, (See f.ex.: ... etc), observed, inter alia, also that the recent USA President Don Trump's will to withdraw from Syria, notoriously risking to provoque there an explosive void, particularly due to Turkey's threats against Syrian Kurds combatting Islamist Terrorism of ISIS as Western and other Countries' Allies, while many CoE's Member States are involved in that Mediterranean Country, (f.ex. Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, etc), creates now, as far as Strasbourg's PanEuropean Institution's responsibilities and potential role are concerned, "a New Situation".

 

 

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, from nearby Sarre, speaking earlier to Strasbourg 's Jpurnalists, including "Eurofora", acknowledged the Fact that Russia's obligation to pay its Annual Financial Contribution to the  CoE, (that Moscow is currently withholding, as long as Russian MEPs are Deprived from their Voting, Participation and Speech Rights in COE's Parliamentary Assembly [PACE], by a Controversial Decision, triggered by a Minority in PACE, back since 2014, when the Ukranian conflict had been suddenly provoked, by Deadly Snipers killing both demontrators and Policemen, so that a Violent Insurrection droped the Peace Agreement compromise,signed by f. President Janukovich and all then Opposition Leaders, under the auspices of EU Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland, for a National Unity Government, Amnesty, Elections, etc., to which, Eastern Ukrania Region replied with Autonomy revendications, and Russia with Crimea Referendum for ReUnification), it's certainly a Statutory duty, so that if it persists, CoE would have to take Measures against that.

But Maas also stressed that "Russia is part of Europe" and naturaly a Member Country of the PanEuropean Organisation, while an eventual Departure out of the CoE would also Harm the Institution, and particularly those Millions of People who are now using the Protection of ECHR for their induvidual Rights : A position strongly supported also by Jagland. Therefore, a Political Solution has to be found, and that's why the German Foreign Minister is now going to visit his Russian counterparts in Moscow, as he anounced.

From what both Maas and Jagland told us Today in Strasbourg, it seems that efforts are currently on the way in order, inter alia, to start a kind of Process which could reach a final solution to these problems asap.

 

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 Meanwhile, concerning the latest developments in Syria, and "Eurofora"'s relevant Questions to CoE"s Secretary General, (Comp. Supra), he observed, in substance, that, even if the main Mandates in those areas lies more in Other International Institutions, nevertheless, CoE might usefully contribute,:at least in certain key domains of its competence : Such as, f.ex. on Refugees, and/or new Constitution-building, etc.

 - In that latest matter, things ( i.e. political developments) have not yet reached such a point, Jagland noted, but, if and when they do, then, we (CoE) could do also for Syria at least what we have alteady done with several other Third Mediterranean Countries, he positively concluded in his replies to "Eutofora""s above mentioned question, (obviously hinting at CoE's "Democracy and Human Rights through Law" famous watchdog, known as Venise Commission, with currently 61 Member States covering about 1,6 Billions of Population : Comp. f.ex. ..., etc).

The Wording used recently by new US President Don Trump on Syria appeared to imply that European Countries should pay a greater role there, now. This obviously includes particularly Russia.

 


(../..)
 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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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 ?

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- "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).
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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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