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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Speech Freedom Rapporteur Kaye to ERFRA: Help apply ECHR Judgements on Impunity of Crimes v.Media

UN Speech Freedom Rapporteur Kaye to ERFRA: Help apply ECHR Judgements on Impunity of Crimes v.Media

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 04 November 2014

 

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- UNO's New Rapporteur for the protection and promotion of the Right to  Freedom of Expression,  Professor David Kaye, speaking to "EuroFora", just after the 1st World Day to End Impunity of Crimes against Journalists, declared by the UNO for November 2, clearly confirmed that his Universal mandate gave a possibility to Raise also Questions on eventualy serious Problems at the Execution of ECHR's Judgements. His present Mandate gives him more than 3 Years (reconductibe) to do so, while his next Report to nearby Geneva Headquartered UNO's Human Rights Council is due for June 2015, as he told us.


    Significantly, he said that shortly after we had denounced at a UN-CoE Conference, an astonishing Difference of Treatment between 2 cases of Journalists' Murders clearly condemned by ECHR Judgements, based on the Same Legal points, and published at the Same Year (2005), but concerning two Different States : Ukraine, in the famous Gongadze affair, (an anti-Corruption Critic, found atrociously BeHeaded), and Turkey in the also quite well known Adali affair, (a Turkish Cypriot Dissident, opposed to several Ankara's Invasion/Occupation Army's policies in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, who was shot and killed by 5 Bullets at his Head in front of his Family Home).

adali__gongadze_echr_cases 

In the 1st case, CoE's Committee of Ministers, responsible for Supervising the Execution of ECHR's judgements, has notoriously succeeded to overcome some initial Problems, and to start Finding and Condemning to Heavy Jail sentences, the one after the other, among those Criminals who had executed the Murder, and/or ordered and organized it, even if it still remains to find out who had initially commanditated that Murder. But, on the Contrary, in the case of Adali's Murder, Nobody was found, nor condemned, until now (2014), more than 9 Years after ECHR's Judgement.... Nevertheless, the case was scandalously .. Droped inside CoE's Committee of Ministers, the body which has the Duty to "Supervise the Execution" of ECHR's Judgements, as it seems, precisely when Turkey had Started to take over the rotating Chairmanship of CoE's Ministers "Human Rights" meetings, back on June 2010 !  (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/adalimurderinvestigationstopedwhenturkeychairscoe.html ).

 The opportunity to raise that issue was given by International NGO "Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)'s 2014 Report, titled "Road to Justice", on "Breaking the cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists", which was presented Today in Strasbourg by Elisabeth Witchel, Impunity Campaign Consultant from the UK for the NY Headquartered "CPJ", who, speaking with "EuroFora", looked rather surprised to hear that so sharp Differences, (rather : Total Opposition !), might exist in the respect of ECHR's Judgements condemning the same Year certain States for blatant Impunity of cold-blood Murders of investigative Journalists.

cpj_representative_to_agg_at_thecoe_400 

The Foreword of this Exceptional Issue, which documents  some 370 Killings of Journalists murdered in relation with their Reporting f.ex. on Corruption, War, Crimes and Human Rights, during the last Decade of 2004 - 2013, (i.e. in the Second Part of the period during which CPJ had started to Document Systematicaly any Killing of Journalist : 1992 - 2014, which includes both Murders of Gongadze and Adali), was written by Gongaze's wife, Myroslava, who describes, in a Strong and Emotional language, the Hard Struggle that she had to Fight in order to Break the initial Silence and start to unveil the Truth on her Husband's atrocious Murder :

cpj_2014_report_gongadze_case_echr_at_unocoeosce_conference_onimpunity_of_crimes_against_journalists_400


 - "Impunity in Crimes against Journalists .. sends a Message from the Perpetrators : That they can Control the Media, by using Force against its members, that Intimidation can continue", Myroslava Gongadze warns. On the Contrary, "Bringing those Responsible to Justice, is the Final Hill we Must Climb, in our Quest to Save the Lives of Journalists, and to further the Cause of Free Speech and Expression". Therefore, "we must actively Support those Devoted to Seeking Justice for these Crimes", because "those who pursue Justice are frequently in Harm's way", she denounces, Concluding that "the cause Needs an International Support System".


Indeed, the astonishing way in which the Adali Murder case was .. "lost" and droped behind the Closed Doors of CoE's Committee of Ministers, despite a quasi-Identical ECHR Judgement, strongly Condemning the respondent State for initially Failing to do its Duty to efficiently Investigate the Killing, both in the case of Gongadze, as also in the case of Adali, where the 2 ECHR Judgements were even published the Same Year (2005) at these same Strasbourg's ECHR Headquarters that CPJ's 2014 Report pictures along the first victim's wife's forward, (See relevant Photo), obviously cannot be explained otherwise, but only by a Blatant Difference in the Existence or Absence of the required Political Will....

osces_free_speech_representative_speaks_at_the_coeuno_meeting_400

=> This Crucial point was very Strongly Denounced by the Trans-Atlantic OSCE's Representative for Media Freedom and Free Expression, Mrs Dunja Mijatovic, who criticized, in her Intervention, the fact that, during the recent years, "States Lack of Political Will" to find and punish those responsible for Serious Aggressions against Journalists, Warning that, if things don't "Change" radically and soon elough in this regard, i.e. if the various relevant European/International Organisations don't Stop to meremy add "Resolutions", "Recommendations", and other such Paper work, then, "We are going against the Wall !", Mijatovic concluded, widely applauded by most participants.

osces_representative_for_freedom_of_expression_to_agg_400


However, even if, unfortunately, her OSCE "Mandate" apparently doesn't allow her to interfere inside CoE's process of execution of ECHR's Judgements, nevertheless, in principe, she can always Speek Out and propose Remedies on any serious Violation of Freedom of Expression accross OSCE's Member Countries, as,Mijatovic later added to "EuroFora", promissing to get in touch soon on such matters, (naturally including also on Press Reporting at the Internet, on which she has notoriously worked already in the Past, long before EU's recent, 2014 "Human Rights' Guidelines on Freedom of Expression  both On-line and Off-line").
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=> Therefore, it had become obvious that the Political and/or other Blockades experienced until now even inside some among the Best available European/PanEuropean Organisations, as far as a genuine and efficient Protection of Press Freedom, Journalists' Safety and the Fight against Impunity of serious Crimes against them, are concerned, (Comp. f.ex. Supra), it's either substantial Changes at the pre-existing EU/CoE Mechanisms, and/or the development of some consistent brand New International Mechanisms, f.ex. by the UNO, are Needed.

unocoe_conf_on_impunity_of_crimes_against_journalists_400


This was precisely observed, initialy at a short intervention by "EuroFora" right from the Start of the Concluding Debate of a well attended UNO-CoE "Inter-Agency meeting" in Strasbourg Today (November 4), "on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of Impunity", where we mainly denounced the serious Discrepancy that the above-mentioned blatant Difference between the clearly Opposite ways that were treated ECHR's similar and tautochronous, landmark Judgements in the Gongadze and Adali cases, concluding, in consequence, that Recent Moves by the UNO to eventually develop a kind of International Mechanismf for the Protection of Press Freedom, Safety of Journalists and to End Impunity, as UNO's relevant "Action Plan" from  2012, and a subsequent Mandate reportedly given by UNO's General Assembly to UNESCO as Coordinator for the implementation of the UN Plan from 2013, could usefuly serve in order to Complement, UnBlock and/or Stimulate pre-existing Regional Mechanisms, even the Best available until now, as that of the CoE, etc, f.ex. by raising Questions about ECHR Judgements' execution whenever it might have been more or less neglected, (as in the above-mentioned Adali Murder case, Comp. Supra), and/or by acting more Proactively, in cases of Urgency, (as, f.ex., at least in some relevant aspects of the Ukranian Crisis), etc.


UNO's Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Professor Daniel Kaye, who was chairing as a Moderator this Concluding Session, decided, then, to practicaly take "EuroFora"s main Suggestion and turn it into a General Question addressed to All Participants at the UNO-CoE International Conference on Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, during that same, crucial Concluding Session dedicated into "Working with Civil Society and Media" for that purpose. Followed a rather Extensive Dialogue, with various and numerous Participants, including relevant NGOs, etc, most of whom, indeed, in one way or another, agreed that it was useful, or even necessary, to develop such a mutually Stimulating Synergy between UNO and specific Regional, European or PanEuropean, etc. Organisations, as OSCE, EU and CoE, etc.

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


+ Meanwhile, "Journalism is an activity of General Interest", and "Attacks against Journalists are a "Hot" issue, since "CoE's 3 Pilars : Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights, couldn't exist without Freedom of Expression and of the Medias", stressed from the outset the experienced CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni from Italy, (the current EU Chair), introducing Yesterday at the ECHR, a 1st Seminar on the Safety of Journalists and the eradicaton of Impunity of Crimes committed against them, which is,  currently, a CoE's "Priority", as she said.

Pointing at the famous "Hrant Dink" affair against Turkey, (from the cold-blood Murder of the Armenian Journalist in Istanbul/Constantinople, where ECHR slamed in particular Ankara Authorities' persistet Failure to really search, find and Punish all those responsible for the Killing, while several Facts indicated as probable a scandalous Complicity between Law Enforcement Agents and Criminals who had been Seeking various ways to Muzzle the Victim already long before he was Killed by Bullets fired at his Head in front of his own Office and Family Home, CoE's Deputy Chief stressed that ECHR reminded, on this occasion, that "States are obliged to create a Favorable Context for the Participation of all in the Pubic Debates, allowing them to Express without fear, their Opinions and Ideas".


 - In this regard, CoE is preparing an On-Line Web portail, destinated to collect, treat and pubish Infos concernant the most serious problems faced by Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists, in cooperation with Associations of Journalists and other International Organisationsn, in order to alert, systematically, CoE's relevant bodies, on the need to take fast and coordinated measures, while also re-publishing all ECHR's relevant Case-law standards in this area, Battaini-Dragoni confirmed, pointing at forthcoming developments, due for December 2014, (as "EuroFora" has already reported on this matter  : See : ....).


 - Moreover, Battaini-Dragoni said CoE was "convinced about the force of Dialogue", both GeoPolitically : on a European level, but also well Beyond our Continent, and "including all various concerned Players : In order to concentrate forces to eradicate Impunity of Crimes against Journalists, Courts, International Organisations, Governments, Medias, NGOs, must speak to eachother", she stressed in conclusion.

 

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+ Speaking later-on to "EuroFora", CoE's Deputy Secretary General, (who had recently gone to Rome, on the occasion of a CoE's Constitutional Law watchdog, "Venice Commission"'s exceptional Session), didn't exclude that Pope Francis might, eventually, evoke also issues related to Freedom of Expression and Opinion or Belief, (often related to Religion and/or Moral Values, facing from ISIS' Deadly Terrorism at the Middle East, up to Police Brutalities and/or Threats of Heavy Fines and/or Jail,  f.ex. in the case of Same Sex Marriage's opponents, and other BioEthical issues' Dissidents in some EU Countries, etc), at his forthcoming Speech at EU Pariament and CoE in Strasbourg on November 25, even if "his main concern currently seems to be rather how to Help Poor People" in and out of Europe, particularly since the recent Global Crisis, as she estimated : Issues for which, sometimes, in order to clearly denounce what could realy cause and/or aggravate them, Freedom of Speech might also be needed, even for that...

(../..)

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("DraftNews", as already sent to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published 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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