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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

Written by ACM
Monday, 21 October 2019

 

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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question at a Press Conference organized for the 2019 edition of the "World Forum on Democracy", in Strasbourg's Press-Club Today, the experienced CoE's Director for Democratic Governance, Claudia Luciani, expessed a Solid "Optimism", as a genuine Believer of Nowadays Society's "Strong Democratic Vitality", able to Find, asap, adequate Solutions on how to Defend Both Quality and Freedom of Information even in the Modern Web-News Era, despite acknowledging some "Risks" at the Internet nowadays, (See Infra).

wfd_press_conference_in_strass_press_club_eurofora_400 

 - "Information : Democracy in Danger ?", suggests, right from the outset, the Official Placard of WFD 2019, distributed by the Organizers of that Annual Series of Events, organised Partly inside the CoE, partly "Extra Muros", at various other Emblematic Buildings in Strasbourg.

- "Nowadays, the Multiplication of Un-Controlled Informations at the Internet, threatens Democracy", claimed the out-going Socialist Mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, speaking just Before the Forthcoming, crucial Local Elections at the Beginning of 2020...

- Apparently, he wasn't far away from the Views of the current Government Spokesperson in France, Sibeth Ndiaye, known for being sometimes Strict vis a vis certain very Critical Journalists, who will be the Invited Keynote Speaker at the Opening Session of this 2019 Edition of the "WDF" in the CoE, on November 6, as CoE's Press Attaché, Estelle Steiner, told "Eurofora".

- However, "Optimist", as Luciani Confirmed, Smiling, to "Eurofora", CoE's Democratic Governance's experienced Director, ...democratically Accepted a Friendly Criticism by "Eurofora", when we asked to be Excused for Raising a quite "Hot" Question, which might appear, to some, as if we played a so-called role of "Devil's Lawyer"...

- "We sometimes Need also to Tease the Devil !", Luciani laughed, Bravely Accepting the Challenge. - "Yes, But we Need also ...some Angels", "Eurofora" insisted, Prefering to Focus on Web's Positive Potential for Modern Democrary in the Foreseable Future.

  - Thus, "Eurofora", at First, Started by Asking Juliani why the CoE is Focusing, so much, Only on the Dangers that the Internet might provoke Against Democracy, withOut Exploring, also, the Web's Potential for Nowadays, Modern Democracy's further Development.

- "The Potential of Internet to Boost Democracy, is, indeed, a matter that we (CoE) had Explored in the Past, (See, f.ex. : ...., etc), and it Returns Back, from times to times, But it's Not for Now. However, it's true that it Might Come Anew to the Forefront, perhaps in one of our (CoE's) Next Editions" of the Annual "World Democracy Forum", Luciani replied to "Eurofora"s question.

- Indeed, CoE French Presidency's coordinator, Ambassador Mattei, present also at this Press Conference, had, Earlier, told "Eurofora" that, even if Web's Democratic Potential "Might", eventually, be Combined with at least Some Parts of this 2019 Edition, However, it seems More Probable for it to be Dealt with by one among the 3 Forthcoming, Next, CoE's Rotating Presidencies, by Georgia, Germany and Greece, pointing, already, to a Draft Program of the first...

+ Web's Potential exploring would be Also Interesting from the point of view of Economic Development, even if this is not so much at CoE's core Mission, she acknowledged. But Luciani certainly Understood, moreover, that, a Wise Use of Internet in order to Facilitate Citizens' Communication with Politicians, at a Period of Notorious Crisis of Public "Trust" to the Established Political System, could become really Helpful, even in Traditional, Establshed Representative Democracy, f.ex., by Facilitating Parliaments' and Various Other Public Authorities' Transparency, (as some Concrete E-Tools had Already Demonstrated in a Recent Past, at the CoE).

=> Unless, even in Countries with the Longest Parliamentarian Tradition in the World, as, f.ex., the UK, finaly, People get Fed Up with the Obvious Controversial, Energy and Time-Wasting "Games", that Westminster's House of Commons notoriously Plays Nowadays on the Topical "BREXIT" Issue, during an already Too Long Period, (Comp., f.ex., also : ..., etc), and, After all that, they Might Start to ...Dream about ...Direct Democracy !", "Eurofora" pointed out, as a Serious "Joke"...

And this comes Soon after, Both "BREXIT" Party's Chief, Nigel Farage, and the current, Conservative Party's new UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, notoriously, Dreamed, Recently, one after the other, to Deal with that Controversial House of Commons almost as ...Cromwell had done in an Historic Past, by ...Closing it Down, at least for a certain Period of Time, (Comp., f.ex., : ..., etc)...

>>> However, Returning Back to the above-mentioned Critical, "Devils' Lawyer", stance, (Comp. Supra), "Eurofora" Felt Obliged to Dare Advance Further, and Ask Luciani :  - "But, anyway, aren't you Concerned by what EU Citizens might Feel if they See that, Nowadays, it's Only ...USA's neo-Conservative President Trump who Pleads for "Freedom at the Internet", already in 2 Recent, Spectacular Speeches at a White House Summit on Web Journalim in Washington DC, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/trumpforfreewebnews.html),and at UNO's Parliamentary Assembly at New York, Last July and September 2019, respectively,while, on the Contrary, they see Europe More Anxious to Take various Restrictive Measures, addressing the Web only as a Risk of Hostile Problems ? Isn't it, at least, a Paradox to Leave for US President Trump the Monopole to Plead for Freedom at the Internet, while Europe, and particularly its Human Rights/Democracy Organisation : the COE, Focuses just on Restricting and/or "Controlling" the Internet, considered only a Dangerous Adversary to a Traditional Establishment ?, we Questioned.

 - Indeed, at a White House's exceptional Web Media Summit, US President Don Trump encouraged "On-Line Journalists" for "fulfilling a Vital Role ... : You are Challenging the Medias-GateKeepers and the Corporate Censors to Bring the Facts Straight to the ...People".-"With amazing creativity and determination, you are Bypassing the Corrupt Establishment, ...and the very, very Corrupt Media", in order to "Communicate Directly with our Citizens, withOut going through the Fake News Filter", he praised on September 2019. + And, in his subsequent UN General Assembly Speech at New York, Later that same Month, Trump also slamed a Few New Communication Technology "Media Giants" and "a Faceless Bureaucracy" to Secretly Undermine Democracy, by Censoring Free Speech at the Internet, while, on the Contrary, a Free Society cannNot allow them to Silence the Voice of the Peoplen as he stressed.

 

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- "I Believe very much, and Expect, that, asap, will Emerge (even inside the USA, which, Despite everything, it still remains a Great Democracy) some Very Strong Antidotes, Because, in fact, there is a Big Democratic Vitality !", CoE's experienced Director for Democratic Governance, Replied to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned, Critical Question, pointing, f.ex., mutatis-mutandis, at what had Happened, already "at the End of the 1960ies - Beginning of 1970ies : At First, it was the Vietnam War, and Afterwards, it all Changed", as she Reminded, with a Strong Optimism...

- And she Kindly Saluted "Eurofora" with an Affirmative Smile, when we asked her to confirm if she really expected "something Similar in Europe Nowadays"... - "It will comme", she guessed.

While Waiting for such eventual Positive Developments in the foreseable Future, ... let's Cross Fingers, or, rather, let's Use our Fingers to Tape Better NewStories for the Internet !

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

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+ More Practical, Strasbourg City's European/International Relations' Head, Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, one of the "WFD" 2019 Co-Organizes, Replying, afterwards, to a SImilar Question by "Eurofora", appeared to Agree whole-Hartedly with our above-mentioned observations about the Important Potential of the Internet for nowadays Democracy.

- In fact, "what we want to do, is Not to Attack the Social Media" of the Web, she explained, "It's just to Warn Readers, f.ex. Young Children, Not to Believe into Everything they see Anywhere at the Internet, immediately, but, rather, to Search, Compare, and Consciously Decide what it's True". And, "for that purpose, we are Giving them some concrete Tools",  Elmrini stressed.                                     

+ By the way, Glad to receive also "Eurofora"s Congratulations for Persisting to co-Organise, on this occasion too, another Event on Web Journalist Daphne Caruana-Galicia's Brutal Murder, and the Scandalous Impunity of its Instigators, even 2 Years After a Bomb Exploded at her Car, right in front of her Family Home, (See, inter alia, also, f.ex. : ..., etc), Strasbourg City's Senior Officer, bitterly observed that, Contrary to what had, Meanwhile, happened at a Similar Killing in Slovakia, where apparently All those Involved with the Murder of a Young Employee of a Foreign Big Media's Website, and his Girlfriend, were Already Found, Prosecuted and Punished, on the Contrary, "in Malta, the situation is much Harder".  

In this regard, it's also Difficult to Forget the Contempt and Hate with which several Fans of the Governing, powerful Politicians that Daphne had Dared Criticize for alleged Corruption, Arbitrariness and Cronyism, after Investigating several Cases and Publishing her Findings at the Personal Web-News Site that she had been Obliged to Create in order to Escape from Censorship at a Traditional Weekly Newspaper where she had been Working in the Past, were Openly and Shamelessly attempting to Insult her in Public, among others, also by Holding, during Collective Meetings, Placards with her Photo to which they had pined the word "Blogger !", (i.e. even Denying to the Murdered Woman the simple Identity of a real Journalist, just because she used to Publish at her own Website)...

 

 

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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 :
----------------------------------

imag0103_400

    - "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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