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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- In 4 Points read by an official with a Mandate by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Bureau, the PanEuropean Organisation's Top Political Body asked Turkey to Stop its Mlitary Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region, (while also appealing to the UN SC to Back Further this Call), and called Turkey to Respect Human Rights, as well as to Seek Peace.

 

 
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At least PACE's 4 Biggest Political Groups (those of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Liberals, Socialists, and EuroLeft), supported such a move, which, (as PACE's Presidency confirmed Twice), might, eventually, be followed, from Friday, also by a formal Report and Resolution, due to be Debated in Public and Voted by the Plenary Later-on.


Ankara's Military Intervention was qualified, by "very" or "Deeply Concerned" Speakers on behalf of PACE's Bureau and the main Groups, as "Shocking", "Alarming", "Worrying" and "Extremely Serious", with "Severe Consequences", (particularly "for the Civilian Population").
The "Turkish Authorities" were accused to "put Extra Fuel on the Fire", their Claims to have "No Proof", and the Turkish "Army (to) Enter Syria in order to Stay there", provoking "Instability" and "further Undermining Security", also by further "Upseting the Kurdish Communities in Turkey" : - "The Longer the Interventon in Syria Lasts, and the More Violence is used, the More Internal Tensions in Turkey will Grow and lead to new Explosions of Violence", warned Tiny Cox, from the Netherlands, speaking in behalf of PACE's Bureau.


- Already, "there are Many Victims" even "among ... Non-Combatants", i.e."Innocent Victims", as "Shells Rain down on Residential Areas", Denounced Romanian MEP Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group. "The Number of Civilian Victims of Bombardments is Mounting, Day by Day". And "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleeing the Province", added Armenian MEP Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Party.


- Significally, The  endangered Civilians are "the same People who Fled the Barbary of ISIL (and) now Fear for their Lives again" : Almost 800.000 Civilians, (among them Many Yazidi and Christian Refugees". "They Now Fear the Jihadist Groups operating in the Shadows of the Turkish offensive", Stroe denounced. "The Region was one of the Few Parts  of Syria that was relatively Stable and UnTouched by the .. Conflict". But "it Now faces the full-scale Consequences of the Turkish Offensive", Marukyan observed. A formerly "Peaceful, Olive-Producing, Kurdish Majority Town of Afrin has been Turned into a Theater of War", added Kurkcu, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group of MEPs.


- "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of  Innocent Civilians", and "All Parties involved" ("in particular those who Initiated that Armed Conflict") "Bear the Responsibility for Protecting Civilians", while "a New Wave of Refugees" profiles at the Horizon, since "Turkey Risks Esclating Syria's Humanitarian Crisis, and Civilians are in Danger", by "the Consequences of the Turkish Assault" : Already "the UN estimate that 5.000 People have been Displaced by Clashes" "in NW Syria", and, "Furthermore, an estimated  323.000 Civilians are at Great Risk", Warned Ms Mikko, from Estonia, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleing the province". There is an "Emergency situation and Civlian Casualties as a result of Attacks on (formerly) Peaceful Towns and Cities", Marukyan pointed out. "According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, .. many Civilians, including Children and the Elderly, have Lost their Lives in Air Raids and Artillery Shelling, while Thousands have Fled their Homes", Kurkcu noted.

+ Moreover, "this (Turkish Military) Operation has Opened up an Unecessary New Front", "and could Divert the Coalition-Backed Syrian Kurdish Combattants from the Main and Essential Objective ; The Fight against ISIL and Other Terrorist Groups", she pointed out.

++ Meanwhile, the Turkish Government "says that those Who want to use the Fundamental Rights of Freedom to Gather and Freedom of Expression, to Oppose this Military Intervention, will <<Pay a High Price>> (sic !)", Cox Warned. "Many Tens of People who have Called on the Government to Stop the War, have been Arrested", observed Kurckcu. Already, "Turkey has Detained ... 150 People for  Writing Social Media Posts about its Military Campaign, against the Kurdish Militia in Syria, since the Operation Began : Detainees include Politicians, Journalists and Activists !", Mikko Denounced. "It could lead to a Further Limitation of Fundamental Freedoms, such as the Right to Free Expression and Demonstration", which "are already Severely Strained, under the Continued *<<State of Emergency>>- "This Military Operation mustNot be carried out at the Expense of the Fundamental Rights of People in Turkey, and of Civilians in Syria", she refused.

 

+++Ankara aims also to Impose a "30 kms - Deep Zone, inside Syria", together with a Proxy 25.000 "pro-Turkish" Armed Groups, who have "Joined the Invasion", several MEPs  denounced.,                                                                                                                                                                         

++++ On the Contrary, "the (mainly Kurdis) YPG" emerged "from the Struggle for Survival, by the Peoples of Northern Syria, Facing Horrendous ISIL Massacres", reminded Kurkcu. "Following the Legendary Defence of the People of Kobani, in 2014, (NDLR : Supported by CoE's Assembly : See ...), it has become a Symbol of Hope, not only for its own People, but for the whole World, in Defence of Human Dignity against ISIL across the Globe". "In 2016, COE's Assembly awarded a Yazidi Woman, Nadia Murad, the "Vaklav Havel" Prize, for the Courage she displayed during Years of Captivity at the Hands of ISIL, as a Sex Slave". While "Thousands of Other Yazidi Women were Rescued from Slavery by the Kurdish Womens' Defence Units - the YPI- between 2014 and 2017, when ISIL was finally Defeated. These Women were role Models for Young women across the Globe. ... They were the Cover Stars of Mainstream Magazines accross the World", he highlighted, Showing relevant Photos. "Now Ankara is Targeting these Women, ... Because they are part of Autonomous Administrations that Rule Themselves, in their Native Tongue, accross Northern Syria. .. What a Crime ! Throughout Human History, for a People to Arise from Nothing, to Represent Hope for Humanity, could be seen as ...Virtuous", he observed.

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+++++ "To this Day, Turkey has Not come under a Single Military Attack ...from the Inhabitants of Afrin", "Nor has the town Ever Hosted a single ISIL Unit", reminded Kurkcu. So that, "Lacking of Any Moral or Military Justification, the Afrin Incursion comes at a Time when Voters' support for Turkey's Ruling Party, Ahead of the 2019 General Election if Plummering. The only Plausible, yet Unacceptable Reason for the Incursion is a possible Leverage for fanning Nationalism in Turkey, and Crushing the Opposition, (by) using the War as Pretext", he accused.


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=> In Consequence, "We (CoE) Need not only to express our Thoughts, but to Act !", Mikko stressed, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "The Most Important thing is to Protect Civilians, and to Respect International Law". And "we .. Urge ... Turkish MEPs to do their outmost to Seek Peace and Stability, through Diplomatic and Political Channels, at Home and Abroad", she added- "We .. Call on Turkey to Cease its Military Operations and Refrain from further Escalation of Attacks", stressed Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Group of MEPs. "USA, France, and Other International Actors have already ... Called for a Halt to Military Actions". The "Liberal" Group of MEPs "Calls on the International Community to Intervene, and Stop the further increase in Violence and Mass Human Rights' Violations in Syria", he concluded. - "The (CoE's) Assembly" should "Call on Turkey to raise the Right to Live in Peace at the Top of the Agenda, and Release all those Detained in Prison for Defending Peace", Kurkcu urged, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group. "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of Innocent Civilians", and, "in Conclusion, we (COE Assembly) Urge (the PanEuropean Organisation's 47) Member States to identify a Peaceful Solution", stressed Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs.


>>> - "We should Act Now", urged from the outset, the "First Speaker, Chosen by (PACE's) Bureau", as the Assembly's Presidency underlined, Senator Cox from the Netherlands:  He made "4 Proposals :"


(1)  "First, to Call on the Turkish Authorities to Immediately STOP their Military Intervention in Syria, to Respect the UN Charter, and to Look for Political Ways to Solve Political Problems, including Security needs".


(2) + "Call on CoE's (47) Member States to use their Influence in the UN Security Council, (including those which are Permanent Members of the UN SC), to have asap. a UN SC Resolution demanding the End of Hostilities, and the Immediate WithDrawal of the Turkish Army from Syrian soil".


(3) ++ "Call on the CoE to Use All its Possibilities (the Committee of Ministers, the Assembly, the Secretary General, and the Human Rights Commissioner) to Convince ... Turkey (a Member State) that this Unilateral Military Intervention Violates the UN Charter, and the Values and Principles of our Organisation" (CoE).


(4) +++ "Call on the Turkish Authorities and the Turkish-Kurdish Community, to ReStart the Peace process, that was Jeopardized in 2015, but which is, according to (PACE) Resolution number 1925 of 2013, "the Obvious Way Forward, in Ending Violence, and Creating a Peaceful Environment for the Solution of the Kurdish Question".


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Followed ... no less than Seven (7) mainly Turkish Establishment's, (with 2 Azeri, obviously Traped by Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline...), simple Speakers, (compared with only 4 Europeans : from France, Germany, Ireland and Belgium, all Opposed to the pro-Government Turks), who, inter alia, attempted to Explain everything by "... the Film "Post" or "Pentagon Papers" (sic !), revealed that "Turkish (Military) Forces are also currently in Syria's Idlib province", (i.e. even more at the South of Afrin province, discussed here), Boasted that "Turkey has decided to ... CLEAN the Territory" (sic !), etc.


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Concluding, CoE Assembly's vice-President, MEP Ana Mendes from Portugal (of the Socialist Group), observed that "the matter May be Referred by the (PACE's) Bureau to a Committee for a Report", (possibly at the Next Bureau's Meeting, on Friday early Morning).


Such an eventual move would, most probably, imply also the existence of a Written Draft Text, (in the form of a Motion for Resolution, signed by several MEPs).

 

(../..)


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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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