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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

Pisac ACM
22. 06. 2011.

 

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A key representative of the currently evolving process from which depends the Success or failure of the famous "Jasmin" Democratic Revolution in Tunisia, the Historic frontruner Country in the Movements going on in 3rd Mediterranean States, the new Minister in charge of preparing a New Constitution, Mr. Ben Achour, will practically open, Next Week in Strasbourg,  the transition to the creation of Strasbourg's "World Democracy Forum in 2012, due to emerge from a kind of "Sythesis" between the preexisting CoE's Political Schools, and new, parallel events topically debating "Ethics" in Politics and "Citizens' Trust", said in substance the experienced CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, Jean-Louis Laurens, replying to "EuroFora"s questions :

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- "EuroFora" observed, from the outset, that, among various interesting and important Personalities, (such as CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland from Norway, CoE's President-in-office, Ukranian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryschenko, experienced professor Catherine Lalumiere, former CoE's Head and current Chairwoman of Political Schools' PanEuropean Network, from France, experimented Russian Human Rights Mediator, Vladimir Lukin, former Head of the Russian Delegation to CoE's Assembly and to EU Parliament,) etc), figured also the Tunisian Minister Rafaa Ben Achour, delegated to the Prime Minister, who is due to give an "Inaugural Lesson" to CoE's Schools of Political Studies, spreading from EU Members Hungary, Poland or Cyprus, etc., up to Turkey, Ukraine and Russia, etc.

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- "Minister Ben Achour is both in charge mainly of Tunisia's Constitutional process, and s. Member of CoE's "Venice" Commission", i.e. the unique PanEuropean body of Top Legal Experts on Constitutional Law, Elections and Human Rights,  (See yesterday's "EuroFora"s Draft NewsReport), sharply and accurately replied Laurens, revealing the particular importance of CoE's selection for its Key-note Speaker.


- "Thank you .. for the question : Mr. Ben Achour is also Member of (CoE's) Venice Committee, and this already gives a clear indication on his main area of responsibilities, which obviously focus mainly on (New) Institution-building issues, and on the elaboration of a New Constitution in Tunisia", (after the "Jasmin" Popular, Democratic and Social Revolution), "That's his main domain of action", revealed CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, in reply to "EuroFora"s query.

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The move was topically made the same Day that, for the 1st time, CoE's PanEuropean Assembly gave a special Status as "Partner for Democracy", to Morocco, while also launching an appeal to Tunisia to be the 2nd to join the Historic process, due to enlarge, progressively, to all other 3rd Mediterranean and Asian Countries at EU's Neighborhood.


Thus, in an emotional and Symbolic ceremony at CoE's Headquarters, Morocco's Presidents of Parliament and Senate, Mr. Mr. Radi and Biadilach, joined together with Turkish Politician Mr. Cavusoglou, both from the 2 Bordering States around EU's Western and Eastern External borders, which have both asked, at one moment or another, even to become EU Members, (starting with Morroco, which had asked 1st, afterwards, followed by Turkey with a similar request, but only later-on, when time was more ripe)....  

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Since then, Mediterranean Arab Countries found difficult to understand why EU spend more than 90 € per inhabitant each year for so-called "Candidates" as Turkey, while it didn't invest not even ..9 € per inhabitant in all other 3rd Mediterranean Countries, as Morocco's Foreign Minister had recently denounced at an International G20 Conference organized by the 2011 French Presidency in Paris. While, in fact, we all face similar Challenges which affect also EU, such as, fex., Climate Change, Global Crisis, Illegal Emigration, Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, etc., but also an interesting Economic,  Energy, a.o. Natural Resources' GeoPolitical potential, as pointed out Morocco Senate's President, Seich Biadilach, and, therefore, now speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", after meeting with CoE's Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland.

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+ "EuroFora", also asked Laurens whether CoE's project to create a  "Democracy Forum in the future", was already "examined by the Committee of Ministers" of the PanEuropean Organization, or not, and "if the common Inspirations behind Next Week's 2-3 successive/parallel Events (i.e. CoE's Political Schools, Conference on "Ethics in Politics", and the meeting of EU Mayors of "Strasbourg's Club" focused on "Citizens' Trust") were due to merge, afterwards, inside a joint Synthesis, that will emerge with the 1st "Strasbourg's World Democracy Forum" on 2012.


- Indeed, "Next Week's events are a kind of a Pre-figuration of the (2012 Strasbourg's World) Forum", (on Democracy), it has been already decided, since it is part of CoE's Secretary General's (Thornbjorn Jagland's) Priorities for the period of 2012-2013, and these Priorities were accepted by (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", replied Laurens to "EuroFora"s 2nd Question.


=> "Our task, now, is to ensure its Funding, since it (i.e. Strasbourg's Democracy Forum) will be an Activity going well beyond the current (CoE's) Political Schools and their (Annual) Summer Democracy University, including an important Financial Partnership out of the CoE, where we work together with Strasbourg City, for External Fund-Raising, in order to become able to give to this (future) event the Real Dimension of what we wish, i.e. what we callled, earler, "Davos of Democracy", CoE's Director General of Political and Democracy affairs' replies to "EuroFora" concluded.
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Obviously, such planned events are expected to follow any relevant topical development, including, f.ex., currently the "Citizens" gatherings which start to spread also in EU Member States like Spain and Portugal but also in Greece, etc., particularly (but not only) among Young People, as a NGO Representative, precisely  from ...Tunisia had earlier warned "EuroFora", on the sidelines of the recent G8 Heads of State/Government Summit organized by the French 2011 Presidency at Deauville, (See relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the spot).


Curiously, however, despite their apparent potential, such Popular Movements were qualified by another Journalist as often raising good "Questions", but whose "Replies are given by Extremists" (sic !), as he said, echoed by Local Strasbourg City's vice-Mayor, Robert Hermann, (Socialist party), who also criticized such Citizens' Movements, nonobstant their current trend to spead accross several EU Countries, as having "Difficulties to formulate Proposals", as he claimed.


However, as another, Spanish collegue recently wrote also for similar Popular Movements in Spain, and as it can be witnessed now, even more clearly, in the serious situation of Greece, these Citizens' Groupings clearly ask  for a "Real (i.e. Direct) Democracy", "without" (bureaucratic Intermediaries in Political) Parties", nor in Mass Medias, etc., as well as a decisive action "against (the recent Decades of) Corruption" in the Public Sector, mainly the State.


It's also at an "Ethical Deficit" that future co-organiser, in charge of Strasbourg City's International relations, Nawel Rafik Elmrini, attributed at least a part of the precursos phenomenon of the "huge Abstentions which appeared in EU Elections", as she said in reference to the well known "No" to the French and Dutch 2005 EuroReferenda, notioriously provoked since 1999-2004 by EU Citizens' refusal to accept Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid. - "We don't intend to avoid any topical Debate" of interest to EU Citizens in future, she added later-on.


The 2012+ World Strasbourg's Forum is not intended to be limited only in Europe, but, with participants also from Africa, Asia and other Countries, it aims to become really International, as it was confirmed in this last preparatory 2011 Press Conference.

***

(NDLR : DraftNews, as already send earlier to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A complete and more accurate Final Public Version is due asap).

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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

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

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
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    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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