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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE Chair, MFA Soini to EF on 1st Test of Finland's Presidency: ECHR Judgements' Execution+

New CoE Chair, MFA Soini to EF on 1st Test of Finland's Presidency: ECHR Judgements' Execution+

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- What has just become the "First Test" of CoE's Committee of Ministers' new Presidency by Finland was evoked, Today, in a short but Topical Question/Reply exchange between the incoming Chairman of the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and "Eurofora", during the Ceremonies for the Official Hand-over of Power from Croatian deputy Prime Minister
Marija Pejčinović Burić, (Comp. Buric's Replies to "Eurofora" Questions at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html), in the Palace of Europe, followed by a relevant Flag Change Event in Strasbourg :

 

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 - New CoE's President-in-office, Minister Soini, clearly confirmed, indeed, in his reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, that, Yes, Finland's Presidency intends to pay due Attention in the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements, during its Short in Time but Crucial 6 Months-Long term : the key period of November 2018 - May 2019.

 

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+ We are aware of the Fact that Finland's CoE Presidency takes over in the middle of Huge "Challenges", and amidst a particularly High "Pressure", but we really intend to Focus on CoE's "Essentials" nowaday, i.e. "Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", he confirmed earlier.


Indeed, a "particular" rank is held by "the respect for the European Court’s judgments", also inside Finland's CoE Presidency's Programme, that Soini presented Officially Today at the PanEuropean Organisation's Top body, its Committee of Ministers' mid-2018 special meeting.

 

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 This is only the 2nd Time that Finland chairs the CoE, 20 Years after the 1st he reminded, evoking the Chairmanship by Finnish f. Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen during the 1990ies, before that also of the EU on 1999, that "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Interviewed then (Both Published at "TCWeekly"), as well as also, later-on, after she was Elected Finland's President, including at UNO's Climat Summit at Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2009 (f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/halonen.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/copenhagen1.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/2010extremeweathereventscausereply.html, + 2012 for the UN: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/halonenunoreport.html, etc).

++ On this occasion, Soini also Replied Positively to another "Eurofora"s Question about the particularly "Important" Nowadays, (among various Other "Issues raised by Digital Technologies vis a vis Human Rights"), area of "Artificial Intelligence", which is part and parcel of another Finnish Priority.

 

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+++ Ambassador Satu Mattila-Budich added to "Eurofora" that this choice was agreed with the CoE also because of a wish to prepare a relevant Recommendation asap.


Interestingly, Finland takes over afterwards also EU's rotating Presidency soon, and this would stimulate useful InterActions between the PanEuropean, 47 Member States strong CoE and the 28 EU Countries' more Economic and Political, powerful Group.


=> In this Context, a Crucial "1st Test" has just Started to Emerge in Strasbourg for the incoming Finland's CoE Presidency, which will have to Face, First of all, Turkey's Openly Declared Claim to Refuse to Comply with its Commitment to execute several ECHR's Judgements which have pronounced Clear Condamnations for serious Human Rights' Violations :


- Already since September 2018, Turkey has Started to put into Real Practice its explicit Threat of June 2018 to .. Bycott CoE's Committee of Ministers' Human Rights sessions dedicated to its Duty to Supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, according to the relevant PanEuropean Legal Convention, unless if CoE Yields to Ankara's Blackmail to entirely Stop even Examining the situation regarding the Implementation of a Series of ECHR's Decisions which have already Condemned Turkey for manifold Violations in cases of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, (illegaly Hindered to Return Back and/or to have Access to their Family Homes, Ancestral Land and other Private Properties in their Ancestral Land, Occupied by the Turkish Foreign Army since its 1974 Military Invasion at the Northern Part of Cyprus, See, f.ex. : ..., etc).


 Ankara's Representatives, indeed, Refused to Participate in the Latest CoE Committee of Ministers' Human Rights Session on the execution of ECHR Judgements Condemning Turkey for continuing Violations of the Rights of Both Refugees/IDPs, and even "Missing" Persons and their Families, (9/2018), insisting to Press COE to "Close" all those Pending Files.


Reacting, CoE's Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, issued a 1st Official Decision, to "Deplore" Turkey's Refusal "to Cooperate" in that field, since September 2018, and Warned Ankara that such moves go Against CoE Member States' Commitments,  (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeuyrefusescooperationwithcoe.html (etc).


- And that Turkey's attempt to Blackmail the CoE in order to "Close" several such Pending Cases concerning Cyprus (Comp. Supra), was also Denounced as being "of course, UnAcceptable", as it was said to "Eufora" by Austrian Ambassador to the CoE, Gerhard Jandl, who currently Chairs the EU Member States' Group inside the PanEuropean CoE, (See, f.ex., http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoereactonturkeyrefusaltocooperate.html, etc).

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The incoming Finland's Presidency of the CoE is expected to Face that UnPrecedented Turkish Obstruction just in a Few Days : Soon after the Beginning of December 2018, during the Next CoE's Committee of Ministers' Human Rights Session, (from 8/12/2018), when Ankara seeks to Impose, through the above mentioned Blackmail, its Demand to definitively "Close" those Files on Refugees/IDPs and even Missing persons in Cyprus, even if the relevant ECHR's Judgements have Not Yet been fully implemented.


=> But, what Turkey demands with such a Blackmail on the CoE, simply "is Impossible !", sharply Reacted afterwards CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE)new Rapporteur on the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, Evangelos Venizelos, an Experienced former Many Times Minister (of Foreign, Economy and Defense, etc), and Deputy Prime Minister from Greece, in Reply to a relevant Question by "Eurofora", earlier in Strasbourg, (See : ...). Venizelos is PACE's Rapporteur on such Key Issues for the Next 2 Years.

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


+ As for the New President of PACE, Swiss MEP Liliane Maury Pasquier, (Comp. various earlier Pasquier's Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentpasquier.html, etc), after regretting, earlier, for not having been oficially "Informed" yet on that CoE's Committee of Ministers' latest Decision on Turket (Comp. Supra), Reserved her official Reaction for later-on, (See : ...).

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+ Meanwhile, Turkey's relevant Behavior popped up also at anOther ECHR Affair, earlier this week in Strasbourg, when the PanEuropean Court just Decided, Yesterday (Tuesday, 19 November 2018), to Ask Ankara for the Immediate Release friom Prison of the Leader of an Alternative Leftist Party, Demirtas, who has been Jailed for Too Long, even without any Court's Ruling yet :


 - Indeed, the Turkish President, Tayip Erdogan, reportedly declared now Ankara Government's blunt Refusal to Liberate MEP Demirtas, slamming ECHR's relevant Judgement, that he will Not implement, as he said, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc)...


=> But CoE's Head Spokesman, Daniel Holtgen from Germany, clearly Reminded to Turkey the Fact that, according to the ECHR and CoE's basic Treaties, All Member States of the PanEuropean Organisation have undertaken the Basic Commitment to Implement all CoE's Judgements, as reported just Yesterday "AFP" Agency, from France, (the Next CoE's Chair, from May to November 2019).



(../..)
 

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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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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
-------------------------

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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