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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow UN Rapporteur on Displaced Persons Jimenez-Damary to EF: Homes/Property=Very Important Human Right

UN Rapporteur on Displaced Persons Jimenez-Damary to EF: Homes/Property=Very Important Human Right

Ecrit par ACM
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Relying to "Eurofora"s Questions on a CoE's Draft Report which Denounces as "War Crime" the Replacement of Population in an Occupied Territory, (as f.ex. in Cyprus, etc), UNO's Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced People (IDPs), Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, stressed, also on this regard, the particular Importance of the Human Right of Refugees/Displaced People for a Free Return to - and/or Restitution of, or fair Compensation for their Family Homes/Properties and - their Ancestral Land :
 
 
 coe_assembly_committee_hearing_on_refugeesidps_eurofora_400
 
 
UNO's Rapporteur, who was this Afternoon the Key-Note Speaker in a Well-Attended, Exceptional Meeting of CoE Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons,
 
 
 uno_representative_fopr_idisplaced_persobns_speaking_at_coe_assemblys_competent_committee_eurofora_400
 
had "just arrived" to Strasbourg from "Country Visits" on the spot at "Libya and Nigeria", as she told us, and was Earlier this Morning received by the new President of CoE's Assembly, Michele Nicoletti, from Italy, while she is due to Speak mainly at a subsequent PACE's Plenary Session Debate, later Tomorrow Afternoon, (as well as on a Specific "Side Event", organized earlier that same day by PACE's Rapporteur on IDPs, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Killion Munyama from Poland, (See Infra).
 
 
 un_rapporteur_on_idps__pace_president_coeeurofora_400

 - "The Challenge is to try to Recover the (Human) Right to the Property or to Compensation for IDPs", underlined Jimenez-Damary, in this regard.

 - "And, I think that it's a Very Important Right !", she stressed.

- Both "Of course, under the European Convention of Human Rights".

+ "But also Under the International Treaties, as well", added further UNO's Rapporteur.

++ This could, obviously, also Facilitate the "Return" of Displaced Persons Back to their Homes and Ancestral Land, as "Most Governments Want", and, dans certain cases, Refugeed/Displaced Persons also Wish themselfs, (f.ex. in Cyprus' Territories Occupied by Turkey's Army, etc), but are Hindered.

- Mainly Because of "Population Replacement" by an Occupying Country : Something which had been practiced "a lot" onlly in a Remote Past : - "Generations ago, Centuries ago", but Nowadays "it has Become a War Crime", according to the International Criminal Court's Statute, as a relevant CoE's Report (Drafted by Polish ChristianDemocrat MEP Killion Munyama, and due to be Debated+Voted Tomorrow, Wednesday Afternoon, in Strasbourg), clearly points out :

Indeed, the Draft Resolution which accompagnies it, clearly stresses from the outset (§2) that "under the Statute of the International Court, it constitutes a War Crime, for an Occupying Power, to Transfer ... parts of its own civilian Population into the Territory it occupies, and to Deport of transfer, all or parts of the Population of the Occupied Territory, within or Outside this Territory". I.e. precisely what Turkey has notoriously done in the Northern Territories of Cyprus, that Ankara controls with its Invasion/Occupation Army since 1974, where Turkish Colons imported from Anatolia have Replaced the Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs who used to live there from Ancient Times, Obiged to Flee the Turkish Military Invasion, and still Hindered, until Now, to Return Back to ther Family Homes and Ancestral Land, despite many ECHR's Judgements Condemning Turkey for such Massive Violations of Human Rights...

 - "This shows the Development of International Law, in order to Overcome that Problem", stressed UNO's Rapporteur for Displaced Persons.

- "I don't want to go into the Comparison Game" with the Past, about the Number of existing Problems.

-  But, at least, what is clear is that, "Right Now, Because of the Development of Legal Standards, there is More Awareness of what Needs to be done", she pointed out.

=> In consequence, "I think that we should Try to Take Advantage of this Positive Development on International Legal Norms... We should Use the Law, wherever we can", UNO's competent Rapporteur on Displaced Persons advised.

- In Fact, "Europe is now full of such (Human Rights-related) International Legal Frameworks !", observed UNO's Rapporteur, who is a Lawyer from Philippines, but works mainly at nearby Geneva.

+ "Again, let's Hope that they (Legal Treaties on Human Rights) are Implemented properly ! ", Jimenez-Darmary put the Finger precisely at a "Burning" point, with a Smile...

=> Lauphing Critically, at "Eurofora"s reminder of the Fact that, even here in Strasbourg, at Europe's Core, ECHR's "Legal" Judgements' Implementation depends from the Supervision of CoE's top "Political" Body : its Committee of Ministers, UNO's Rapporteur on IDPs said that - "I Hope we will Not have to Wait ECHR's Judgements' Execution for Ever"...
 
 
uno_repesentative_for_idisplaced_persons_looking_at_old__new_echr__agg_eurofora_400 

>>>Because, as a matter of Principle, ECHR's "Judgements are supposed to be Executed !", Jimenez-Damary stressed in conclusion.
Symbolically, while saying that, UNO's competent Rapporteur was Looking, through a Huge Window of CoE's Palace, straight ahead to ECHR's initial, Historic, "classic" Building, and to its New, Current and much Bigger, Modern Building, located one after the other, all along a Line in Front of her Eyes... (See relevant original PHOTO).       
 
+ In Addition, Jimenez-Damary told "Eurofora" that she Knew about Professor Pinheiro's World-Famous UN-Backed "Principles", and found them "very Good", (mainly on "Restitution" of Refugees/IDPs' Homes and/or Properties, on which We had Reported already as Early as Since a 1st Pinheiro's Draft Report at Nearby Geneva, initially at "TCWeekly", "MPAgency", etc until their Final, Special Edition in a Book Published and Backed by CoE's Secretary General, UNO's High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNO's High Commissioner for Refugees : See, f.ex. ..., etc).

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

- However, already in the Oldest Case of ECHR's case-law on Refugees/Displaced People's Human Rights to their Family Homes and/or Private Properties : that of EU Member Country Cyprus, CoE's current Rapporteur on the "Humanitarian Needs and (Human) Rights of internally Displaced Persons in Europe", Christian-Democrat/EPP MEP Killion Munyama, speaking earlier Today to "Eurofora", told us that he "Knew" these cases of Massive and Continuing Violations of Human Rights, for which, his Report notes that they Affect around "228.000 - 232.000" People, (i.e., notoriously about 20% of that Country's Total Population !).

- And COE's Rapporteur made it clear that he also Knew that these Massively Displaced Persons' Rights' Denial, (mainly Greek Cypriots obliged to Flee the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation of 1974, and, since then, still Hindered by Ankara's Troops to Return Back to their Family Homes/Private Properties and Ancestral Land, despite several UN SC Resolutions and ECHR's Judgements Condemning Turkey for Violating their Human Rights), has already durated more than 43 Years (1974-2018), i.e. "Since 1974", as he told "Eurofora".
 
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>>> His Report, clearly Denounces the Fact that "the ECHR has Dealt with Applications by Cypriot IDPs Since the Landmark Judgement in the Case of "Loizidou v. Turkey" of 1998", (in fact, already since 1996 = ECHR's Judgement on the Substance of this case, the Latter, Follow-up Judgement concerning only the Financial Compensation for Non-Execution of the Initial ECHR's Judgement). And it also adds, pertinently, the more Recent Fact that "in its Judgement "Cyprus v. Turkey" .. of 12 May 2014, ... (I.e. + 8 Years Later-on) the Court (still) Found a Violation because of the Turkish Authority's Complicity in Unlawful Sale or Exploitation of Greek Cypriot Homes and Property in the Northern Part of Cyprus", controled by Turkey's Army, (See § 55 of that Report).

=> Obviously, as long as the Impunity of Turkey still remains, as far as it concerns its blatant Denial of ECHR's landmark Judgement in "Loizidou" case of 1996/1998, (followed also by that of the InterState Application in "Cyprus v.  Turkey"'s affair : Hearing = 1994, Judgement = 2001), related to Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation of 1974, it was Inevitable for the CoE to Start having also Too Many Other Cases of such Massive Violations of Human Rights Afterwards : f.ex., in the Kurdish Issue, inside Turkey (1984-2018); on the Nagorno-Karabah Conflict (since the 1990s+), in Bosnia-Herzegovina ( 2000+), Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014), etc., as COE's Rapporteur notes in his Paper's Conclusion, also on § 33.

- But, Cusiously, in the Draft Resolution which accompagnies his Draft Report, Munyama doesN't say Anything Critical at all for Turkey's blatant Contempt to ECHR's Judgements concerning Greek Cypriot Displaced Persons, (Page 33) ! On the Contrary, that Report even goes on to Boast about a so-called ..."Important Progress (sic !)
made in the Humanitarian situation of IDPs in Cyprus" !...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

=> Will, an Amendment eventually Tabled to be Voted Tomorrow Afternoon, at CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's Penary Session, Rectify such a Blatant Contradiction Between CoE's Rapporteur's Findings and that Draft Resolution's Claims on that "Hot" Point, which are an obvious Blunder ?_
_______________________________________________
 

 
 turkish_official_does_not_reply_to_meps_question_on_child_labour_eurofora_400

Or will it remain, perhaps, as such a grossly Negative Mark as that which was left by a Turkey's Official from the "Disaster and Emergency Management Authority" (AFAD) of Ankara, (another Invitee of that PACE's Committee), who, astonishingly, did Not even Reply (sic !)
 
 
 mep_who_asked_for_child_labour_in_turkey_and_got_no_reply__eurofora_400
 
 
to the Critical Observation of a MEP about "Reports of Child Labour" among Syrian Refugees massed inside Turkey's "Camps" (See Infra)...
 
 
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 ---------------------
 
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Shortly Afterwards, outside of the CoE, this Same Day for the Anniversary of the "Armenian Genocide", the Tireless President of Strasbourg's Alsace Region's Armenian Friendship Association, Pierre Zouloumian, surrounded with a Team of Young People that he organized, was just Concluding his Annual Speech to that Popular Ceremonial Meeting at the Republic's Square, handing a Copy of a "Press File" to "Eurofora", (by a coincidence, under a Huge Tree reportedly stemming from the Seed of Japanese Roots which had succeeded to Survive, Underground, at Nagashaki-Hiroshima even the 1st Nuclear Bomb Explosion)...
 
 
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Nearby, the Armenian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Parnyr Hovhannisyan, speaking to "Eurofora", feels necessary to Timely Link the Human Values standing behind the World-Wide Condemnation of the 1st Genocide of the 20th Century AC, (in fact a Massive and Brutal Attempt to "Replace" an entire Historic Population by Forcibly Displacing it towards the Syrian Desert), with the Recent Aggressions of Deadly Islamist Terrorists notoriously helped by Turkey in Syria and Iraq against, precisely, a few stll remaining Armenian Survivants in some Villages there, but also against Yazidi People, Kurds, Christian Minorities, etc.
 
 
 armenian_families_at_republic_square_after_the_meeting_for_the_memory_of_the_genocide_eurofora_400
--------------------
But who, amidst CoE, EU and/or UNO will Urgently Help to at least alleviate the current Plight of about "200.000" Civilian People (130.000 already in a "Camp"), reportedly Displaced from their Family Homes, Properties and Ancestral Land, at the Syrian Kurdish Canton of Afrin, recently Invaded and Occupied by the Turkish Military escorted by some Radicalized Islamist Armed Gangs (some say even former ISIS Members, hastily Recycled) ?

- "They (UNO's Officials) don't even speak to us yet :!", complained (Yesterday, invited by MEPs at a CoE's "Side Event" in Strasbourg) the Syrian Kurdish Political Leader, Salem Mohamed Maslem, whose Organisation, the "Party of Democratic Union", had notoriously Helped the USA-led International Coalition to succesfully Fight against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting Civilian People, (Comp.: ....).
 
In Syrian Kurdish Canton Afrin (now Controlled by the Turkish Invasion/Occupation Troops and its Proxy Gangs of Armed Extremists), systematic Attempts to "Replace" its Ancestral Inhabitants by Other Groups, Imported by the Invading Turkish Army, seems to have already Started,  (as also reported Obstacles for Refugees/Displaced Persons' Return, Changes of Street Names clearly indicate)...
 
 
 
(../..)
 
 
 
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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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