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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 :

 

coe_cm_handover_with_flags__eurofora_400


 - 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.

 

new_coe_president_finland_fm_soisi_declarations_eurofora_400
 

+ 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.

 

new_coe_committee_of_ministers_president_finlands_fm_soisi_chairs_1st_meeting_eurofora_400

 

 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).

austrian_ambassador_to_the_coe_jandl_inside_now_eu_parliament_eurofora_400 


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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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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