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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR President Raimondi+ to EF on Cyprus' Refugees Judgements Implementation : "Trust" CoE to move

ECHR President Raimondi+ to EF on Cyprus' Refugees Judgements Implementation : "Trust" CoE to move

Written by ACM
Monday, 21 November 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- European Court of Human Rights' new President, Guido Raimondi, speaking to "Eurofora" in the CoE, almost at the Same Time that a Final Push was reportedly prepared at Crucial Nearby UN sponsored Top level Talks for the ReUnification of Cyprus, on the Geneva-lake's "Pilgrim Mountain", stressed that, in his view, we should all "Trust CoE's Committee of Ministers" for the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements on Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons.


That key Human Rights issue, (which affects an estimated 190.000 of Greek Cypriots obliged to flee from their Family Homes, private Properties and Ancestral Land, since the 1974 Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation, and still Hindered to Return, not even hav Access to their belongings, Despite a well established ECHR case law, already since 1996 and 2001, etc, in Both Individual and Inter-State cases, more Recently Coonfirmed and Further Explicitated in more Concrete Terms also by a Landmark 2014 Decision of ECHR's Great Chamber), is currently at the Focus of still on-going UN sponsored Inter-Communal Talks at nearby Switzerland, particularly in relation with an Expected Agreement on Territory, that might, Hopefuly, open a road for a Multilateral Internatiobal Summit, due to deal with the Security Issues for a Comprehensive Political Solution, according to pertinent UN SC Resolutions, EU Law, and CoE's Values and Rules.

 

 

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Raimondi had earlier said that, nowadays, the CoE is Advancing quite well in the process of Developing Adequate "Tools" in order to Ensure, also in Real Practice, that ECHR's Decisions can be Taken nd Implemented on Time.


But Turkey is the Only "Western" world-oriented Country which has an Exceptionaly High Number of ECHR Judgements still Pending for Execution, for Many Years, most of which concern "Serious Violations of Human Rights", (Unlike f.ex. Italy, whose Delays concern, Comparatively, much more Lenient matters), he acknowledged.


Another, and much More Tragic Human Rights Issue, still Pending for Execution of ECHR Judgements which have Condemned Turkey's Authorities too, is that of about1.500 Greek Cypriot "MISSING" Persons, Strasbourg University's Professor at International Law, and Experienced former Long-Time EU Council's Legal Director in Brussels, Jean-Paul Jacqué observed spontaneously, speaking also to "Eurofora", earlier this Noon.


But, particularly since a 1997 Inter-Communal Agreement, brokered also during Cyprus' Talks under UN auspices at nearby Switzerland, in Montreux/Glyon city, (by a Symbolic Coincidence, very Close to nowadays' "Pilgrim Mountain" Top level Talks, oriented the "Missing" Persons' Human Rights matters among the so-called "Humanitarian" affairs, i.e. out of the mainly Political Top Talks.


Meanwhile, ECHR has  notoriously Condemned Ankara's authorities repeatedly for "Continuous" Violations of Both Refugees/Displaced Persons and "Missing"Persons and their Families' Human Rights, CoE's Committee of Ministers, whose Statutory Duty is to "Supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements", hasn't yet taken any really Convincing Measures vis a vis Turkey's reluctactance to act, except from several official "Calls", "Appeals", and other "Resolutions", which had a rather Limited Result until now, since Ankara still persists to drag it feet, (Comp., f<;ex., recently : ....).


President Raimondi, reminded, however, that, in Addition to certain Individual Measures, whenever a CoE's Member State is Condemned for Violations which "Reveal also a mich Wider, "Structural" Problem, then, it must also take some Sufficient "General Measures".

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+ But, Experienced, former CoE's Secretary General, Catherine Lalumiere of France, (a Socialist University Professor, from the same Governing Party as French President Hollande), who had Earlier observed, Criticaly, the Fact that a really Efficient Implementation of ECHR's Judgements "required also Political Will", added Now, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora" Question, that, in her view, CoE's Committee of Ministers' above mentioned Statutory Duty in itself, wasn't always enough in order to ensure a Serious and Timely Implementation of ECHR's Judgements, but it was "Also Something Else, that was Needed" for that purpose, in fact.

 

 

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Lalumiere said that, also at the CoE, just 1 Day before Cyprus takes over the rotating Presidency of the PanEuropean Organhisation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, Tomorrow in Strasbourg, Tuesday 22 November 2016, in a Special Event of its 47 Member States strong Committee of Ministers, for which, the Experienced, Long-Time Cypriot Foreign Minister and former EU Parliament's MEP, Ioanis Kasulides, has just Arrived from Switzerland to France.


The Exceptional Importance of that Event is obvious also from the Fact that the Latest Time that Cyprus' Chaired the CoE was ...More than 22 Years Ago, on 1994-1995, (Comp. "Eurofora" co(Founder's various Publications from then).


Cyprus' CoE Presidency durates from November 2016 up to May 2017, included. But, as far as ECHR Judgements' Implementation is concerned, following an Established Practice, it will pass over that Specific Chair to Denmark, who will be its Successor at the General, Committee of Ministers' Chairmanship, approximatively from June 2017.

 

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+++ However, CoE's Director General for Legal affairs and Human Rights, Philippe Boillat from Swiitzerland, speaking Previously with "Eurofora", revealed that CoE's Committee of Ministers, which had recently, Suspended, exceptionaly, any Further Examination of the Issue of ECHR Judgements Implementation in the cases of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons, had only done so, in order to "Help" the UN sponsored InterCommunal, Top level Talks, at nearby Switzerland, to Hopefuly Advance towards an Agreement for Cyprus' ReUnification, which would appropriately include also that Human Rights' Issue.


=> We (CoE) are Following how that situation evolves, and, naturaly, if there is not sufficient Progress made there, we are Ready to Resume Consideration on that matter, and possibly Take adequate Action, Boillat warned then, in Reply to a relevant Question raised by "Eurofora", while the PanEuropean Organisation's Committee of Ministers has, in parallel, Fixed already a Date in order to Re-Open anew the Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons' issue as far as the Long-Awaited Implementation, by Turkey, of ECHR Judgements is concerned, during the First Months of 2017.

(../..)

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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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