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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow CoE asks Turkey for Content of Effective Investigation+Tangible Result on Cyprus MISSING People Fast

CoE asks Turkey for Content of Effective Investigation+Tangible Result on Cyprus MISSING People Fast

Escrito por ACM
22.09.17
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
In an Important Decision taken by CoE's Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law clearly urged Turkey to show the "Content" of "Effective Investigations", and "Tangible Results", on Cyprus' "Missing" People, as well as "Firmly" asked anew Ankara to Pay, at last, to Victims' Families the "Just Satisfaction Awarded by the European Court", Droping Pretexts to Drag its feet even Further since the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of Cyprus, and/or Cover up Crimes with Total Impunity still on 2017, (See, f.ex.:
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ).

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The move was made during CoE Ministers' Session due to Supervise ECHR Judgements' Respect by its 47 Member States (19-21 September 2017), which was Chaired by the experienced Permanent Representative/Ambassador Arnold de Fine Skibsted, from Denmark, vice-President of the CoE, and soon due to take over CoE's  Full Presidency from November 2017 up to May 2018, included.

 

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CoE also Decided to Review anew Turkey's compliance with ECHR Judgements, (which have already Condemned Ankara several times on Cyprus' "Missing" Persons, since 2001, 2010, 2014, etc., after its First relevant damning Findings as early as since 1992, etc), at one of its Next Meetings in Strasbourg, on June 2018 : I.e. under the Presidency of Finland or France, (which has a Traditional Lead for International Protection against Enforced Disappearances, f.ex. since the confection of UNO's New and Stronger relevant Convention, back on 2006 under former President Jacques Chirac, which Entered into Force on 2010 under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and is already supported by almost 100 Countries accross the World).


+ Meanwhile, just in a Few Hours' difference, at New York, Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, Speaking at UNO's General Assembly, reminded the fact that, "since 1974 more than a Thousand Greek Cypriots are still Missing", after Ankara's Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Island.


>>> But, an eventual "Progress to the Humanitarian Issue of the Missing Persons" in the foreseeable Future, could become one among the key "Game Changers in Creating a Climate conductive to Resuming Negotiations", under UNO's Aspices, for a Peacefull ReUnification of Cyprus, "with the Aim of reaching a Comprehensive Settlement", President Anastassiades declared, as Also, f.ex., anOther Key Human Rights Issue, that of "the Return and Resettlement" of Greek Cypriot Refugees, at least to "Varosha" (Famagusta), by "its Rightful and Lawful Inhabitants", (etc), as "Mutually Agreed <<Confidence Building Measures>>, which are in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Secretary General's Reports".


-  On this occasion, Anastassiades also "Urge(d) All Countries which Might hold Information" relevant to Cyprus' "Missing" Persons, "to Open their Archives, in order to Support our Efforts to giving an End to this Tragic aspect of the Cyprus' Problem".


Soon Afterwards,  UNO's Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) of Cyprus, with all its 3 permanent Members, reportedly decided to Exceptionally visit London, for Meetings with UK Government Officials about Access to Archives which May contain useful on that Tragedy. For that purpose, several CMP Meetings at UK's Defense and Foreign Ministries, the British Army's Joint Staff and its National Archives, MPs, as well as Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot NGOs on "Missing" People, were organized, given also Great Britain's 2 Big Military Bases, still existing at the Island.


The Latest UN sponsored Multilateral Conference for a Solution on Cyprus' overall Issue, faced Recently a Deadlock, at nearby Switzerland, particularly because Turkey Refused to Withdraw its Invasion/Occupation Troops when an eventual Deal would Enter into Force, and Insisted to Claim for Unilateral Military Interventions even in the Future.


- But Anastassiades declared Now his "Readiness" to "Resume Negotiations, in accordance with (UN SG's Draft) framework and always in line with the relevant UN Resolutions", for an Agreement on Cyprus' ReUnification, through "a New Conference", which "Should be thorough(ly) and solid(ly) Prepared", with "a Strong Will and Determination by All", in order "to Ensure" that it "Will Leadd to a Positive Outcome".


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However, the Decision taken Today on Cyprus' "Missing" People by CoE's Committee of Ministers, does Not impose, yet, any concrete Sanction on Turkey, Despite of all its Refusals, Delays, Diversions, etc, During too Many Years, all the way through, since a now remote Past, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ), and Not Even after Ankara's Latest Claims, this Week in Strasbourg, to ... "Close" several Files on Cyprus "Missing" Persons, even if its Controversial "Investigations" did Not yet produce Any Result, including also on "one among the Most Serious Crimes", as Turkish Authorities just revealed.


According to ECHR's Notes, Many among the Greek-Cypriots gone "Missing" were Seen Alive by Eye-Witnesses and/or even Photographed as "Prisoners" of Turkey's Soldiers, in Vilages controlled by Turkish Troops, Entering a Turkish Military Vehicle, some Tranfered by Ship to Prisons of Anatolia inside Turkey, or in Houses of some Turkish Cypriots, (etc).

From 2006-2009 and Later-on, CMP's official Findings on the Victims' Remains, note an Impressive Number of Cases where Deaths seems to have been provoked by mainly 1, rarely 2 "Bullet" Shot(s) Fired "to the Head", (sometimes Obviously "from Close Range"), i.e. as in Cold-Blood Executions.

Several Victims' remains also bear Traces of what might be Torture, Amputations, etc., such as, f.ex. "Hands Missing", Wounds by "a Pointing Cutting Instrument", Decapitation, Dislocated Bones, etc.
Some Remains were found Hidden (f.ex. "in a Mass Grave in a Well"), and/or in Areas Located Far Away from there where the Victims were Last Seen, Many Remains had been obviously Re-Located, (See Infra).
Many Victims were Captured Soldiers on 1974, i.e. Prisoners of War ("POW"s), but also various Civilian people, including Elders, even Women and Children.


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CoE's 9/2017 main Decisions :
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=> The Main Points of CoE's Decisions taken this week, on Turkey's Obligation to Implement ECHR's Judgements which have Condemned Ankara on Many (Bith Inter-State and Individual) Cases of Greek Cypriot "Missing" People, are the Following :


(1) Agreeing with "Eurofora"s main Critical observation, published Earlier, about a Surprizing Absence of any concrete Content of the Investigations allegedly carried by Turkey, and Rejecting Ankara's opposite Claims, send at the Last Minute, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ), CoE's Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers clearly Asks Now "the Turkish Authorities" to give, precisely, "Information on the CONTENT OF ...the INVESTIGATIONS"


And CoE Reminds that it's Not  the 1st Time that it has to do so...



(2) Moreover, CoE also Asks Turkey to "Keep" Strasbourg's Organisation "INFORMed", Not only about those Investigations which were "Finalised so far",  But Also "OF THE PROGRESS in ... Investigations" still Pending.



(3) Concerning the Timing of the on-going Investigations, CoE asks from Turkey a "RAPID Finalisation".


CoE also "Underlined the URGENCY", ("due to the Passage of Time" from 1974 until 2017), "for the Turkish Athorities" to act according to its instructions in this matter.



(4) The most Important, (Significantly underlined by the CoE from the outset, already at the 1st § of its Decision), naturally is for Turkey to "provide ...All Necessary Assistance" in order to "Achieve TANGIBLE RESULTS, as Quickly as possible".



(5) For that purpose, f.ex., CoE Accepts most of Cyprus Government's motivated demand for "the Turkish Authorities to give UNHINDERED ACCESS TO ALL possible MILITARY ZONES, Located in the Nothern Part of Cyprus", as the Final Decision asks.


Indeed, Nicosia had Denounced the Fact that, After Refusing such Access to UNO's CMP during a Long Time, Ankara "Only Recently proceeded to Partially and Hesitantly" to do so, "after intensive pressure". But, even "Nowadays, Despite Appearances and Allegations to the contrary", in fact, "Access to Military Zones is a Daily Struggle for CMP, and is Closely and Unduly Monitored by representatives of Turkish troops". While, "a Substantial part" of the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, "under the effective Control of Turkish troops, is Designated as Military Zones, and Access to them, as well as to Adjacent Areas, was for Decades Prohibited". So that, Nowadays, Turkey's Plan to provide Access in Some Military Zones, "within the Next 2 Years" (sic !) "is Neither Sufficient, nor convincing", Cyprus' Government had Warned, proposing to ask Turkey for "Immediate and UnHindered Access to All Military Zones Today".



(6) Last, but Not Least, CoE's Committee of Ministers concludes by "Insisting ... Firmly on the UnConditional Obigation to PAY the Just Satisfaction, awarded by the European Court" to the Victims, withOut (more) Delay".


CoE was, indeed, Obliged to do so "Again", as it Reminds, because Turkey, for Years, has Not yet Paid Anything out from the "30 Millions €" that ECHR's Judgement "Awarded as Non-Pecuniary Damage Suffered by the Surviving (Family) Relatives of the "Missing" Persons", at the Inter-State Case of "Cyprus v. Turkey", back on "May 2014", (concerning ECHR's Main Judgement's Findings in that affair, since 2001), as Nicosia denounced.


-"Turkey's persistent Refusal to Comply", is "a Flagrant Display of its overall Dismissive attitude", and "Undermines the Credibility" of ECHR, putting also "in Question the viability of the System of the Protection of Human Rights", Cyprus had Criticized.


+ Moreover, Ankara's Authorities persist in a similarly Negative stance also in the Individual Complaints, as that Lodged by the Families of 9 "Missing" Greek Cypriots in the "Varnava" case, in which ECHR has strongly Condemned Turkey wih a Judgement issued as early as, already since 2010...


 - "There is No ... Information to report, at this stage, with regard to the Payment of Just Satisfaction", not even to "Varnava" affair Victims' Families, merely says Turkey ... Seven Years Later, on 2017, (continuing with other various allegations against Cyprus' Government, but ...Forgetting the Families of those 9 "Missing" Greek Cypriots, for whose Fate ECHR judged Ankara responsible).


 - As for the due "Criminal Investigation" on "Varnava" himself, it "is (still) on-going", Turkey said, 7 Years after ECHR's Judgement...


However, CoE's Highest Political Body, its 47 Member States-strong Ministerial Committee, went on, Today, to take, also Specific Decisions on "Varnava" case, concerning 9 "Individual" Persons gone "Missing" :


- CoE reiterated, in absolutely Identical terms, also here, the Crystal-Clear Call that it has taken on the Inter-State Case (Comp. Supra), about "Firmly" asking Turkey to Comply with its "UnConditional" Obligation to Pay to the Victims' Families the "Just Satisfaction Awarded by the European Court", which, in these Individual Applications is, all in all, 27.000 € only "for Costs and Expenses", (plus the Legal Interest rates for 7 Years of Turkey's persisting Refusal to abide : 2010-2017).


=> In Both Cases, Turkey's persisting Refusal to Pay the Just Satisfaction awarded by ECHR will be Checked by the CoE anew, in just 2 Months Time, at its Committee of Ministers Next Session for Human Rights, on "December 2017".


+ At the Same Date, CoE decided now to Review also Turkey's parallel persisting Refusal to Pay the Compensations awarded by ECHR to a Group of Greek Cyriot Refugees/Displaced persons, who are still Hindered by the Turkish Army to Return Back and/or Access their Family Homes and/or Private Properties located in the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Foreign Invasion/Occupation Army, nonobstant ECHR's Judgements in the "Xenidi-Arestis" Group of cases.


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


++ And CoE's Ministerial Committee also went on to explicitly "Call on the Turkish Authorities" to Ensure the Effectiveness of ... Investigatios, and their Rapid Finalisation", as well as to "Inform" the CoE "of the Progress in these Investigations", Pointing "in Particular (to) that concerning Andreas Varnava".


Varnava had been seen, by EyeWItnesses, Alive as a Prisoner transferred by the Turkish Military to a Jail in "Adana", at mainland Turkey's Anatolia plateau. Since then, his Body has Not yet been Found anywhere by UNO's CMP searches, (Contrary to Others, who were Arrested at the Same Time), and both his Fate and Whereabouts still remain Unknown...

 

 

(../..)

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. 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 ?

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).
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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.
--------------------
    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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