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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Anti-Torture Watchdog Chief Gnatovsky to EF: Turkey, Remand Prisoners +Obstacle to Publish Facts

CoE Anti-Torture Watchdog Chief Gnatovsky to EF: Turkey, Remand Prisoners +Obstacle to Publish Facts

Written by ACM
Thursday, 20 April 2017

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/-
Just after having Denounced the "Extensive resort to Lengthy Remand Detention" of Dissidents "by the Turkish Authorities", often even Before any Trial might Start, (see Infra), CoE Slamed "Remand Detentions" as a matter of General Principle Today, in a Report Published by its Watchog against Torture and InHuman Treatments, CPT, whose President, Mykola Gnatovskyy, speaking to "Eurofora", observed that even its long awaited Latest Findings in Turkey, that CPT Visited on August-September 2016, just After the Mass Arrests of various Dissidents on pretext of the Short-lived, 6 Hours long only, alleged "Coup" of July 2016, could Not even be Published, as long as Ankara's Government has Not Accepted yet to Disclose that information.


President Gnatovskyy Revealed, in substance, Replying to specific "Eurofora"s Questions, that a Special CPT's Report on these Issues has Already been Completed and Given to the Turkish Authorities, so that the Ball is Now in their Yard, since it all Depends from whether, and when, they might Accept, or Not, to Publish CPT's Findings, as well as Comply with its Recommendations. At least for the Time being, Ankara appears to have Refused to do so, and CPT's Head did Not Exclude that CoE's Anti-Torture Watchdog, might, eventualy, find itself perhaps Obliged to Trigger a Procedure foreseen by CoE's Convention's Article 10, about Making a "Public Statement", or not, (See Infra).


The Move came on the occasion of a Press Briefing by the CPT's President, at the CoE in Strasbourg, about its Annual Report for 2016, precisely Focused on "Remand Detention" in general,  just After he was Heard by the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political body, that of its Committe of Ministers, Earlier this Same Day that it heard also the President of the PanEuropean Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, which has Recently Denounced "Extended" and "Lengthy" Remand Jailings in Turkey among Political Dissidents, (See Infra).


Apparently, Turkey seems to be Really Refusing to allow the Publication of that Report, since CPT's Draft was normaly Ready (as CPT's President Anounced to "Eurofora"), somewhere between the Beginning of November 2016 and January 2017, so that Ankara Government's Reply should, normaly, have been given on March or at the Beginning of April 2017, according to usual CPT's standards on Time Deadlines, which have just Lapsed.


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   - "Eurofora" reminded to CPT's President, the Fact that:  "Everybody speaks, since Last Summer, about Very Harsh, Alarming Conditions, in which would have been Submitted Many People in the Turkish Prisons, that you have Visited : What has really Happened ? Will there be a Message coming from you (CPT), in one way, or another ? Sorry for this Question, to which, may be, your are Not Free to Answer" as such, "but, perhaps, you can Find anOther Way to Give a Message", we asked President Gnatovskyy.


 - "The (CoE's) Message will Only Appear If, and When that Report will be Published !", CPT's President immediately reacted.


  -  Indeed, Nowadays, "the (CPT) Report (on the Latest, August - September 2016 Visits to Turkish Prisons thoughout the Country) is there !", he clearly Announced.


  - In consequence, already, "The (Turkish) Authorities Can Authorize its Publication at Any Time. Now, it's up to them !", he pointed out.  


  - Otherwise, in the meantime, "We (CPT) CanNot do Anything, because the (CoE's) Convention is very Strict" about Confidentiality.


+ Questioned by "Eurofora" whethe he Might, eventualy, Find that the Real Situation, perhaps, Is, or Not, so Important as to Motivate, at least, an Unilateral Declaration by the CPT, using the Exceptional Power that CoE's Convention's "Article 10" gives to that body, its President declined to say now, but did not exclude anything a priori :


- "Article 10 (possibility), Any way, it's Something that I canNot Comment on", "Because it's an Internal matter", (to CPT's obligatorily  Confidential Functioning).


- However, Independently of that, Questioned, in fine, "if there is Something on the pipe-line there, any move, in the foreseeable Future", CPT's President did Not Deny :


- "I can't say. No Comment, No Comment on that", he Simply Replied, Kindly Excusing himself, But, nevertheless, withOut Denying such (and/or, perhaps, anOther, relevant), eventual Possibility...


+ Given, inter alia, also the Fact that, according to CoE's "Convention Convention for the Prevention fo Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment"'s Article 10, "if" a Member State "Fails to Cooperate, or Refuses to Improve the Situation, in the Light of (CPT's) Recommendations, the (CPT) May Decide ... to Make Known its Views", by "Making a Public Statement on the matter", such a Move (already used in the Past, particularly vis a vis Turkey), may Appear quite Logical, and rather Probable, according to relevant developments.


For that purpose, the concerned State should have "had an Opportunity to make known its (own) Views", (f.ex. by Publishing also its Reply to CPT's Report), while CoE must get "a Majority of 2/3 of (CPT's) Members", (i.e. at least 32 Member States, out of 47).


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++ Already, in the Informations that CPT Published Today, on the Occasion of its Annual Report for 2016, it Underlined the Fact that "2016 was a Busy Year", mainly because of Exceptional, Non-Scheduled, "Ad Hoc Visits, some of them Organized at Short Notice, in Response to Current Events", as, f.ex., that which was made "to Turkey, following the Military Coup Attempt", in Addition to 2 Earlier Visits "to Greece, to Examine the situation in the so-called <<Hotspots>>", already Noted Before, as well as one in Belgium, for a quite Old Problem (Prison Staff's Strikes, etc), and Ukraine (mainly at the Eastern Region around "Kharkiv"), Russia, (at "Dagestan" in "Northern Caucasus", etc), and, at a Lesser extend in Spain.


>>> In particular, CoE's Anti-Torture Watchdog, during a Full Week-Long "Ad Hoc" Visit to Turkey, between 29 August and 6 September 2016, Visited Many Prisons in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, including 3 Controversial Isolation "F Type" Prisons, 2 "Closed" and 1 "High Security" Prison, added to "Ankara's Police Headquarters", etc.


- Indeed, the main "Purpose ... was to Examine the Treatment and Conditions of Detention of Persons detained in connection with the Military Coup Attempt of 15 July 2016", CPT confirmed. => "To this end, the (CoE's) Delegation Interviewed, in Private, several Hundred" Detainees throughout Turkey, Strasbourg's Organisation Revealed.


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


Meanwhile, CPT's President clearly Confirmed, on the occasion of the Publication of the Annual Report for 2016, as a matter of General Principle, that - "Publication of CPT's Reports is a Sign of Transparency, and also an Opportunity to Open a Wider Debate on the Issues raised in them".


A Growing, Recent Trend in this Direction, is currently Advancing further :
President Gnatovskyy "Welcomed the Decision" of 4 More CoE Member Countries, (Austria, Finland, Monaco and Sweden), "to Agree to the Automatic Publication of CPT Reports" recently. They are Added to anOther 4 Countries (Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova), which have Already Done so Previously, (i.e., Bringing Today this Group to a Total of 8 Pioneer Countries).      

                           
+ Moreover, Already, a very Large Majority among CoE's 47 Member States, currently practice de Facto, a pro-Transparency policy, concerning CPT's Reports, since, 35 among them do Not have, Today, Any Pending Non-Published Report at all.  


AnOther 8 Member States, have Only 1 CPT Report which has Not yet been published, in Most of these Cases (5) the concerned Governments having Just Received that Report "Recently", as it results from the Statistics of CoE's Official Text, Published Today, so that the Number of 100% pro-Transparency States might Soon grow up to, at least, 40 out of 47, or, subsequently, even more.


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 + Meanwhile, an "Extended Resort, by the Turkish Authorities, to Remand Detention" has been Recently Denounced by anOther CoE's Report on the Dire "Situation of Local Elected Representatives in Turkey", various Political Dissidents, Debated and Adopted in Strasbourg at the End of March 2017, (See Detailed Facts Infra).


In particular, a Resolution Adopted, on that occasion, with a Wider than 3/4 Majority of 109 Votes against Only 32 and 10 Abstentions, Slamed as "CounterProductive and ...Weakening the capacity of Turkey" to adequately  "Deal with" any "Threats" that it might face, that phenomenon of "Extensive resort to LENGTHY Remand Detention" by Ankara's Authorities".


This is a real "Feature of these Measures" of Massive Jailings of Dissident  Elected Politicians, "Many... carried out" not only After, but Even "Before the Attempted Coup" of the Short-lived, 6-Hours long alleged Army Move of July 2016, since CoE's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) had "Already Drew Attention to in its 2014 Report on <<The Situation of Lula Guven (a CLRAE Member) and Other Local Elected Representatives Detained in Turkey", on the base of which, a Public Debate and Vote in Strasbourg had resulted in the Adoption of "Resolution 367 (2014)".


+ A "Similarity with Situations Previously Condemned" by the CLRAE, "particularly" in a "2007" and a "2011" Earlier Reports, CoE's body observed.


=> Interestingly, Both CPT's President Gnatovskyy, and CLRAE's President Gudrun Mosler-Toenstroem, were Heard by, and Debated with 47 Member State's Ambassadors, in CoE's Highest Political body : its Committee of Ministers, on one and Same Day, Yesterday (19 of April 2017) in Strasbourg, as "Eurofora" was informed by Official sources.


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>>> By a Topical "Coincidence", CoE Officialy "Urged" Today, as a matter of General Principle, all its 47 Member States, to Only Use on "Last Resort" the "Remand Detention", and, in that case, at least provide Remand Prisoners with "Adequate Detention Conditions".


+ Indeed, another well-informed CoE's Official stressed from the outset to "Eurofora" that, the Most Important Problem, in this regard, is Not so much the Number of Remand Prisoners, but "More the Conditions of their Detention".


So that CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, clearly Denounced "Serious Shortcomings in the Conditions in which PreTrial Prisoners are Held", "Calling on States to Ensure that these Conditios of Detention are In Line with Human Rights Standards, and that Pre-Trial Detention is Only Applied If Absolutely Necessary".


CPT's President added, in this regard, that "Detention on Remand Can have Severe Psychological Effects", (pointing, f.ex. at "Suicide Rates" sometimes "Several Times Higher than among Sentenced Prisoners"), as well as "Other Serious Consequencies, such as the Breaking up of Family ties, or the Loss of Employment or Accomodation", etc.  


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


     + Replying to anOher "Eurofora" Question, on the occasion of the above-mentioned Press Briefing, CPT's President carefuly Observed that a relevant Statistical Table distributed Today, with Numbers from 47 CoE's Member States, may be Out-Dated, at least as far as the Real Magnitude of the Problem in Turkey is concerned :


     - "These are rather Old Figures ("from September 2015"), so that "Things might have Changed in Turkey" recently (i.e. on 2016-2017), President Gnatovskyy Warned, (given also CLRAE's latest Findings : Comp. Supra + Infra).


    -  Moreover, "Situations are Diverse", he said Earlier. F.ex., in Some Cases, it's "When there are Alternative" Sanctions, and/or "when the Justice System works well, that you'll have Less Remand Prisoners". But, obviously, this could Not Explain why Countries as ...San Marino, Andora, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, might have ... a Bigger Percentage of Remand Detainees, compared to the Total Number of All Jailed People, (i.e. also those who have become duly Sentenced Prisoners, than ... Greece, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Spain, FYROM, Serbia, Bulgaria, Armenia,  Poland, Ukraine, etc., as that OutDated Statistical Table curiously suggests, (made Not by the CoE, but by anOther, Independent, External body). A possible Explanation of this Paradox, might, perhaps, be, that, at least in Certain Countries, a High Number of Remand Detainees, does Not Exclude an ...even Higher Number of Sentenced Prisoners, (so that an Approach based Only on the "Average" of "Remand" compared to "Sentenced" Inmates, would inevitably provoke False Appearances)...

Otherwise, such False Appearances might push to so Absurd Claims as, f.ex., to pretend that ...San Marino and Andorra  may have Bigger Problems in Prisons than Turkey !...


     - In fact, the Main Problem are "Bad Conditions, but also Lack of (Adequate) Regime", for Remand Detainees, CPT's President Explained, later-on, to "Eurofora".


     - F.ex., Problems Start, already when, simply, "they are Condemned to do Nothing for too many Hours". Indeed, "Remand Prisoners, in too Many (CoE) Member States, are Locked up, for 23 Hours, out of 24, in a Single Day, they Sit there Idle, withOut doing Anything. They don't have any Opportunities. They Might have Rights, but they are Not Implemented. Because, there are No Activities for them", he Replied. At best, - "They have just 1 Hour or so of Out-Door Exercice", where "they Just Walk. Sometimes it's even Only on a Roof, in a Concrete Cage, they Call it "Out-Door", becaue there is Some kind of Air, and there is Nothing Else. There is Nothing that they can do. Because, just Sitting there, for Years, ... That's the balk of the Concern, that's the Problem", already emerging even from such a Simple Fact, President Gnatovskyy told "Eurofora".


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+CLRAE on Turkey and Remand Detainees among Political Dissidents :
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Meanwhile, in a Related Move, CoE's Committee of Ministers held, this Same Day, also a Meeting for exchange of views with the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), Gudrun Mosler-Toenstroem, just after CoE's Local Democracy Watchdog's Plenary had Debated and Adopted, at the End of March 2017 in Strasbourg a Resolution and a Recommendation on the current Situation in Turkey, asking, inter alia, also for the CPT to "Examine Reports of Inhuman Treatment of Detained Local Elected Representatives in Turkey", (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeylocaldemocracysuspended.html ).


This particular point was Voted by CLRAE with a Very Strong Majority of 118 Votes in favor, and Only 21 against : i.e. a large 4/5 Majority at that PanEuropean, 47 Member States strong body.


This is Doubly Related to CPT's Annual Report Published Today, since CLRAE had already Denounced clearly "the Extensive resort, by the Turikish Authorities, to Remand Detention, which Often Extends for Several Years", in the cases of more than a Hundred of Local Elected Representatives recently Jailed in Turkey, (some Before, some After the Short-lived, 6 Hours long, alleged "Coup Attempt" of July 2016).


Moreover, since "None of the 81 "Co-Mayors" in Prison have been Convicted of Any Offense, and Most have Yet to be Put on Trial", (which has Not yet occured for them), while, in Addition, "Most of the Charges, against these Elected Representatives relate to the Ideas that they have Expressed", (and Not Violence, Neither Corruption, etc), then, "such Detention canNot be Justified", said CLRAE's Official Report, which Resulted in a Resolution asking to "Release" many of them.


 "InHuman Treatment" specific  Concerns regarded, among others, "notably" the Victims' "Solitary Confinement", but also the Turkish Authorities' practice of a "Systematic Transfer to Prisons Far (Away) from their Homes".


This Latter "Systematic Practice" of Separation "Makes Contacts with their Lawyers and Families very Difficult", CLRAE's relevant Report "on the Situation of Local Elected Representatives in Turkey" observed.


+ Worse : There are even Complaints "that Many" Jailed Elected Local Representatives "were Placed in Solitary Confinement", Denounced that CLRAE's Report, drafted by 2 CoE's co-Rapporteurs, Anders Knape, Experienced Long-Time ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden, President of CLRAE's Chamber of Local Authorities, and Socialist MEP Leendert Verbeek, Head of the Dutch Delegation, and President of CLRAE's powerful "Monitoring" Committee.


That Official CoE's Text makes f.ex. a special "Mention of a Member of the Congress (CoE's body), Ms Nurhaya Altun, "co-Mayor" of Tunceli", who "was Arrested ... and Detained in Kocaeli <<F Type>> Prison", (i.e. those Controversial Jails with Confinement, against which, at least 2 Massive Collective Protests of various Other Prisoners in Turkey, Already as Early as since the 1990ies and on 2000-2001, had resulted in Violent Mass Oppression and Deaths of several Inmates, including Women, in Addition to Hunger Strikes, during which many Prisoners prefered Risks to Die, than to be Kept in Isolation, complaining also of Growing Threats of Torture/Inhuman-Degrading Treatments in such cases).


Ms Altun was "Arrested ...Shortly After her Participation in the ... Plenary of the (CoE's) Congress" in Strasbourg, since the "17 November 2016", CLRAE's Report Criticaly observed, as far as apparently  Politicaly Motivated Oppressive moves of the Turkish Authorities are concerned.


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CPT Visits +
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Even if the various Political Dissidents "Detained" in Turkey since that Strange, Failed and Short-lived : 6 Hours-long Only, Alleged "Coup Atempt" of July 2016 amount "110.000" People, according to CNN, from which, the Turkish Ministry of Interior admits "55.000 Arrested on specific Charges", i.e. More than the Total Number of Irregular Migrants/Mass Asylum Seekers recently Trafficked by Turkish Smugglers into EU Member Greece and still remaining there ("around 47.400" according to Amnesty International) , Only a Part of whom currently are in "Reception and Identification Centres" alias "Hotspots", (Less than 15.000, ibid, or 13.500 according to "AsylumInEurope" NGO Website, almost 16.000 according to the Greek Ombudsman's last Report), nevertheless, CoE's Anti-Torture Watchdog, on 2016, paid 2 Visits to Greece's "Hotspots" and Other "Irregular Migrants" facilities (on 4/2016 and 7/2016), but Only 1 Visit in Turkey for the More Numerous and Dangerous Mass Arrests of Political Dissidents (on 8-9/2016).


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


+ AnOther, Earlier "Ad Hoc" CPT Visit to Turkey, on April 2016, was Exclusively Focused Only on the "Imrali" Island, controversial "F Type, High Security, Closed Prison", where is, notoriously, Jailed Kurdish Rebels' former Long-Time Leader Ocalan, since 1999.  


- "The Purpose... was to Examine the Treatment and the Conditions of Detention of the (4) Prisoners" there, and, particularly, "the Measures Taken by the Turkish Authorities", since "the Previous Visit, by the CPT, to that Prison, on January 2O13", ("in the Light of the Recomendations" that it had made then, as the Report Published Today reminds).


>>> Indeed, according to recent Kurdish NewsMedia, Ocalan "has Not Seen his Lawyers, since July 2011", while, "his custodial and Family have beern Barred from the Island, since October 2014", and even "the Political Delegation of HDP Parliamentarians could Not Confer with him, since April 2014", i.e. "After Turkish President Erdogan Halted (Peace) Talks with Ocalan and PKK", so that, in Practice, "No Independent Information whatsoever, from Imrali Island, exists, Since April 2014". Even "2 ..Other Inmates of Imrali Island Prison have been Moved to a(nOther) Prison, in Mainland Turkey, possibly on ...December 2015, withOut prior Notice to Family and/or Lawyers", who "sere Not Allowed to See their Clients", Not even "in their New Prison".


- So that, even the 2nd CPT "Ad Hoc" Visit to Turkey, on 2016 (Comp. Supra), "was also an opportunity to Raise, once Again, with the relevant Authorities, certain Issues related to the Situation of Abdulah Ocalan and other Prisoners held at Imrali", CPT's Annual Report for 2016 Revealed Today.


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


Until Now, Turkey has had Also 6 "Periodic" (i.e. Scheduled) Visits by CPT, i.e. ...Less than ... Portugal (7), Italy (7), Russia (7), Spain (7) and the UK (8), and Equal to Austria, France, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova and Greece (6 too).


It's true that Turkey has been, however, Monitored in 28 CPT's Reports, compared to 26 for Russia, 18 for the UK, 16 for Spain, 14 for Greece, 13 for FYROM and Ukraine, 12 for France, etc. But, in Real Practice, this Still represents, in Average, ...More CPT Monitoring Reports on Russia, than on Turkey, which was Already a Member of the PanEuropean Organisation since the Cold War era of the Past, while, on the Contrary, Russia only became CoE Member during the 1990ies, and Started to be Monitored by the CPT only 8 Years Later than Turkey : So that, During Just 18 Years of CPT Monitoring of Russia (1998-2016), Moscow Authorities have Faced 26 Reports, i.e. 1,44 Reports per Year, in Average, while, During 27 Years of CPT Monitoring on Turkey (1990-2016), Ankara's Authorities faced "Only" 28 Reports, i.e. just 1,03 Reports per Year, which is, Comparatively, Less.


As for the Non-Publication of CPT's Reports, it's also True that Russia, followed by Azerbaijan and Moldova, has apparently Refused More Times than Turkey, even this might be due also to the Fact that Russia, during recent years, Often Found several Critical CoE's Decisions on Human Rights to be "Biaised" by alleged "Double Standards" against Moscow, (a "Peak" being also a Last Week's ECHR Chamber's ruling Condemning the Russian Authorities for alleged Abuse during the Heavily Armed Deadly Islamist Terrorists' brutal Masacre of Children taken Hostages with Bombs and Explosives in Beslan School on 2004, Shortly After that same ECHR surprizingly Absolved entirely the 2005 UK's "Socialist" Government of Mr. Bliar from Any Responsibility for the Brutal Killing of a Peaceful, Calm and Innocent Student by an UnWarned Violent Armed Attack of its Secret Services in London, who had committed a Gross Blunder, Confusing a Totaly Innocent Youngster, a White Christian, with an Arab Islamist Extremist supected to prepare a Terrorist Attack : "Da Silva" of Menendez affair)... The particularity of the "Transnistrian" and/or "Nagorno Karabach" areas, with a notoriously Controversial Legal Status, might, eventualy, Explain also the Special Situations of Moldova and/or Azerbaijan for the rest, (which, however, in the case, at least, of the Moldovan Authorities, Left "just" 3 CPT Reports Non Published yet, i.e. Equal to Turkey's Refusals until now).


Moreover, concerning Greece, those remaining in those "Hotspots" near the Greco-Turkish Borders (which are also EU's External Borders), are "Not Detained" in normal Legal terms, according to the Greek Ombudsman, and they Stay there Only 1 or 2, up to 25 Days, except from those whose Asylum Demands were Rejected and are due to be Returned Back to Turkey, (even if several sources have Denounced a "De Facto Detention", which might be Longer). This is, almost Excusively, a notorious Consequence of the 2015-2016 initiated, sudden, Unprecedented, Giant "Tsunami" of Irregular Migrants/Mass Asylum Seekers tresspassing in EU Member Greece through Turkey.


One of the Issues often raised, both in Greece and in Many Other EU Member Countries, since the above-mentioned "Tsunami" emerging though Turkey, is that of AbNormaly Numerous so-called "UnAccompagnied Minors", for whom, inter alia, "Separate" Areas have been strongly Recommended, from those used for Adults. But, given also the Fact that, notoriously, Most of them are of an UnDetermined real Age, (i.e. in Several Cases Adults, having Hidden or Lost their ID documents), recently Incidents have been Reported about "Rapes" of Small Children by Young Adults, probably Dissimulating their Real Age, inside that Group of Population, showing that "Promiscuity" Risks exist Also Among such "Non-Accompagnied Minors" themselves, (f.ex. at least 2 proven such Incidents in 2017 at the Islands Near Turkey, etc).


As for a Recent (March 2017) Tragic Incident of a Syrian Asylum Seeker reportedly committing "Suicide" while still Awaiting a Reply to his Demand for Asylum in Greece, it occcured Not in Detention at the Islands' "Hotspots", but in Mainland Greece, at the Pireus SeaPort, (i.e. Out of such facilities), eventualy Similar to Various such "Suicides" of Non-Detained Asylum Seekers reported f.ex. in Sweden, etc., (probably because, precisely, that Excessively "Massive" aspect of the  Giant Wave of Irregular Migrants/Asylum Seekers smuggled through Turkey has apparently Downgraded in a Public Opinion the Classic Image of real "Refugees", and almost "Hidden" and/or "Crashed", by its Huge Mass, certain Real Refugees among an indiferenciated "Tsunami" notoriously Including also Many Petty Criminals, some Deadly Terrorists, and a lot of Economic irregular Migrants, Scandalously Mixed with some realy Persecuted Political Dissidents.

At any case, such isolated Incidents, obviously have Nothing to do with the, Absolutely Differend, Cases of several "Suicides" reportedly Committed by real Political Dissidents Targetted, Arrested and Detained by Ankara's Authorities, particulaly after those Mass Purges in Turkey aggravated since the July 2016 alleged "Coup Attemp of July 2016...


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


Meanwhile, however, the Greek Police has just Found and Liberated more than 16 Immigrants ...Detained as "Hostages" by a Gang of Pakistani Traffickers, only two Weeks after being Smuggled into EU Member Greece by Turkish Smugglers, as it was Anounced Earlier this Week (16 April 2017), in one among Several such Incidents of "Hostage Taking" by Human Trafficking Gangs for Money (2.500 € being Asked by the Smugglers for the Release of Each Hostage in these latest cases) already also at various Other occasions recently.


Naturaly, it's No Question about any CPT Visits in such cases...

 

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


***

(NPLR : Text of 19 April, but Published on the 20th, according with an "Embargo" deal, to give Time for Brussels' Collegues, who had the  Press Briefing 1 Day Later there, since the CPT President had to Meet CoE's Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg's Headquarters Earlier).


***
 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


***

 

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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

imag0958_400

    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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