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Home arrow newsitems arrow Murdered Journalists Hrant Dink + Adali at ECHR: Turkey's acts since 2005-2007 questioned in 2010

Murdered Journalists Hrant Dink + Adali at ECHR: Turkey's acts since 2005-2007 questioned in 2010

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 05 May 2010
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    Controversial EU Candidate Turkey's failure to make Efficient Investigations on Murders of 2 Journalists : dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali and Armenian critic Hrant Dink, particularly since 2005 and 2007 up to 2010, was questioned in Strasbourg at a CoE-organized debate on the Anniversary of Press Freedom Day (May 5).


    The event brought together ECHR's Senior Legal Expert, Vincent Berger, International NGO watchdog on Press Freedom "Reporters without Borders"' Director for Europe and Central Asia, Elsa Vidal, PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Right's Office Director and several experienced Journalists, such as European TV ARTE's Reportage Director Marco Nassivera, the Organizer of CoE's Annual Journalists' Conference, Jerome Bouvier, Strasbourg Newspaper DNA's Director Dominique Jung, etc.
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    The Family of the murdered Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink is currently in the process of pursuing an application against the Turkish Government at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, a key ECHR Official confirmed earlier to Strasbourg's Journalists including "EuroFora".  


    - "But what is really Worrying in Turkey, which is used to have Violent problems, is that most violations of Freedom of Speech, Journalists' Rights are the result of ambivalent (Turkish) Judges and of High-level Politicians, and this raises a very particular Problem", denounced from the outset the New Director for Europe and Central Asia of the International NGO Watchdog "Reporters without Borders", Elsa Vidal.


    - "A particularly interesting Paradox is that the Author of a Book published in Turkey on the Murder of the Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink on Januray 2007, which denounces what everybody suspects, i.e.  that the (Turkish) Police let the murder be committed, if it didn't even pave the way for (planify)  at the Highest level  the murder of the Journalisy, is currently threatened to be condemned into ...a longer Prison sentence than the presumed Murderers !", she criticized.


     - Moreover, "for those following the (Court's) Proceedings on the presumed killer at Istanbul, it's easy to realize that the (Turkish) Judges are in collusion and show their sympathy with the Murderer !", Vidal denounced.


    Indeed, Press Reports revealed, these same Days, that the Family and the Friends of the murdered Journalist and their Lawyers formally asked from the Turkish Authorities to urgently change the Judges and the Attorney, and replace them with really serious, objective and committed persons.

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    Meanwhile, the aftermarth of Hrant Dink's January 2007 Murder, (which took place in Turkey after the 2005 killing of Catholic Priest Sandoro and the 2006 atrocious Torture and Murder of 3 Christian Protestant workers at a Bible editor), is extensively discussed in a New 2010 German Documentary Film with fresh research on original Letters and Testimonies from German, Swiss, Danish, Austrian, a.o. eye witnesses of the 1910-1915 Massacre organized by the former Ottoman - "Young Turk" regime, which is due to be soon translated and published also by the European TV Chanel ARTE.

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But International Watchdog on Press Freedom "Reporters without Borders"' Director for Europe, Elsa Vidal, also anounced her intention to examine the case Turkey's total failure to efficiently investigate the cold blood Murder of a Dissident Journalist in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, still held by Ankara's Army, despite its condemnation by an ECHR's Judgement since 2005.

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    Vidal was replying to an "EuroFora"'s Question on Journalists' Murder cases, among which, as we observed, "some are very well known, while others, not" :


    - F. ex. , on the one hand, we have the famous Gongadze case, where ECHR had condemned in 2005 Ukraine because of the lack of an Efficient Investigation. But afterwards Ukraine proceeded to arrest and condemn to heavy Jail sentences 2 of them, who were suspects of having committed themselves the  killing, And later another, 3rd one, who is suspected to have organized those who killed, was also arrested. Even if the instigators have not yet been found, Ukraine, however, accepted even the interference of Foreign Experts in the on-going Investigation, and CoE's Committee of Ministers' Monitoring on the implementation of ECHR's Judgement, is continuing in Strasbourg", "Eurofora" observed.


    - " But, at the same time, few People speak of another case, concerning Turkey, which was also condemned by ECHR the same year of 2005, equally for lack of efficient Investigation in the case of the Murder of another Journalist shot with 5 Bullets at the Head out of his Family Home, in the territories of Cyprus Occupied by the Turkish Army : a dissident Turkish Cypriot, Kutly Adali. Here, on the contrary, the Turkish Government has not found, nor punished yet, not even one among the Murderers, nor those who planified the Murder, and persists, both before and after ECHR's Judgement, to claim that there it would be impossible for Ankara to ever find anyone among those responsible for the Murder. Suprisingly, however, CoE's Committee of Ministers, instead of pressing Turkey to make an Efficient Investigation and to threaten it with Sanctions, as it did many times vis a vis Ukraine, on the contrary, is ready to ..."close" the examination of this case for ever (reportedly on June), inevitably giving a Strange impression of Double Standards, "EuroFora" denounced.

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    - "is it because in the case of Adali's murder, (unlike to Gongadze's murder case),  there is no Foreign State or Group pushing the CoE to ask Effective Investigations, but only the Wife and the Daughter of the Victim, who are still obliged to live under the illegal Turkish Occupation regime ?, "EuroFora" wondered.  The avove mentioned Difference of treatment, by CoE's Committee of Ministers, between these 2 cases of ECHR Judgements which had condemned 2 States (Ukraine and Turkey) for an initial lack of Efficient Investigations on the Murders of 2 Journalists, Gongadge and Adali respectively, risks today to practically annul ECHR's Judgement in the Adali murder case, "EuroFora" concluded.


    - "Reporters without Borders"' New Director for Europe and Central Asia, Elsa Vidal, was questioned by the organizer of CoE's Annual Journalists' Conference, Jerome Bouvier from France, if she had been previously alerted on Adali's murder case, or not.


    Vidal replied that, indeed, as "EuroFora" had observed, RWB had not been yet duly informed about what was really going on about Adali's murder case, and anounced that she was going to ask their new Correspondent of the International Press Freedom Watchdog in Cyprus to find out particularlmy the relations between the Murder and the Victim's work as a Journalist.


    As Vidal later said to "EuroFora", "Reporters without Borders" new Correspondent in Cyprus is a Turkish Cypriot living in the Occupied Territories of the island, as Adali and his Family did.


    Adali was a well known critic against Ankara's policies of massive imports of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, which threatened to modify the Demographic Structure of the area, by making of the local Turkish Cypriots a Minority vis a vis Turkey's own Citizens, risking to provoke a serious "Political Obstacle" to a Peaceful Solution of the issue of Cyprus and its ReUnification, as CoE's Parliamentary Assembly and CoE's Committee of Ministers have repeatedly denounced in Reports, Resolutions and Decisions adopted in Strasbourg since the 1999ies.


    Shortly before his Murder Adali had reportedly published also an article denouncing  suspicions for the implication of a Turkish Military Commader in the Plundering and the Destruction of Religious Christian Monuments in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, from which their ancestral Greek Cypriot Majority Community has been evited and illegaly hindered to return since the 1974 Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation, in reaction to a short-lived Coup by a few Greek Cypriot Nationalists aspiring to join the former Junta then in power in Athens, which was then overthrown and its leaders condemned to heavy Prison sentences. ECHR has repeatedly condemned Ankara for various Human Rights' violations related to its continuing Military Occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.


    According to the International Penal Court's Statute, attempts by an Occupying power to massively "replace" the original lawful Inhabitants of the occupied area by massive imports of its own Population, is denounced as a "War Crime".


    But the most dangerous effect of what Adali's Newspaper publications used to criticize, i.e. the illegal attribution of so-called Cyprus' "Citizenship" to the Turkish Settlers imported from Anatolia by the illegal Occupation regime, might be soon felt by the UNO and the EU at the Table of the InterCommunal Negotiations for the Solution of Cyprus' issue between Cyprus' President Christofias and the new 2010 Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglou, who is reportedly known for being more in favor of a "2 States"' stance, which obviously risks to permanently divide the island, than for a real reUnification of EU-Member Cyprus.


    Meanwhile, speaking earlier to "EuroFora" on the occasion of Turkey's total failure to make an efficient investigation of Adali's murder, CoE's PanEuropean Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, pointed, as a matter of general principle, at his Püblication for the Annual Press Freedom Day, which clearly stresses that "Authorities should Efficiently and Effectively Investigate any ...incidents" of ""Acts of Violence, Harassment and Intimidation against Journalists", "and prosecute and sentence perpetrators".


    - "Authorities should also take the necessary Preventive Measures against acts of Violence against Journalists", added Hammarberg's publication this week, in an observation closer to Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink's case (Comp. above). ” It should be recalled that violence, harassment and threats can have a chilling effect on media reporting and may result in self-censorship", Hammarberg also warns, pointing to the fact that such cases of non-elucidated murders of Journalists, as Adali, Hrant Dink, etc, can have much larger effects.

 

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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 ?
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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", ...

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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..

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"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

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"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"

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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.

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

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