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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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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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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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