Αστυνομική βία – αυθαιρεσία – ατιμωρησία: Ερώτηση προς Γ. Καμίνη και Κ. Γρηγοριάδη μέσω Vouliwatch

Αστυνομική βία – αυθαιρεσία – ατιμωρησία

Προς Γιώργο Καμίνη και Κλέωνα Γρηγοριάδη

Αστυνομική βία – αυθαιρεσία – ατιμωρησία

Αξιότιμοι κύριοι βουλευτές

Όπως γνωρίζετε το Ελληνικό Παρατηρητήριο των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι είναι η μόνη ΜΚΟ που υποβάλει εκθέσεις στην Επιτροπή Υπουργών του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης που παρακολουθεί την εκτέλεση της ομάδας Μακαρατζή 15 καταδικαστικών αποφάσεων του ΕΔΔΑ για παράνομη χρήση βίας από σώματα ασφαλείας. Για το λόγο αυτό, πρόσφατα επιλέχθηκε από ΟΑΣΕ και CPT ως η μόνη ελληνική ΜΚΟ που συμμετείχε στη συνάντηση ΜΚΟ με με τους Εθνικούς Μηχανισμούς Πρόληψης των Βασανιστηρίων και της Κακομεταχείρισης, δηλαδή το Συνήγορο του Πολίτη από πλευράς Ελλάδας. Τέλος, με ικανοποίηση πληροφορηθήκαμε πως σε εκδήλωσή σας ο Πρόεδρος του Νομικού Συμβουλίου του Κράτους δήλωσε πως επιβάλλεται η πιο στενή συνεργασία με ΕΕΔΑ και ΕΠΣΕ αφού αρκετές φορές οι απόψεις τους είναι πιο κοντά στη νομολογία του ΕΔΔΑ.

Στα πλαίσια αυτά διαβάσαμε προσεκτικά τη χθεσινή συζήτηση στη Βουλή των δύο επίκαιρων ερωτήσεων που καταθέσατε (https://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/a08fc2dd-61a9-4a83-b09a-09f4c564609d/20191213000912.docx ). Ακολουθούν παρατηρήσεις και προτάσεις μας.

1. Διακριτικά στελεχών σωμάτων ασφαλείας

Όπως δήλωσε σήμερα (https://left.gr/news/pottakis-synigoros-toy-politi-dimioyrgeitai-aisthisi-atimorisias-ton-astynomikon-organon) ο Συνήγορος του Πολίτη Ανδρέας Ποττάκης, “ο ΣτΠ είχε επισημάνει ότι τα όργανα ασφαλείας πρέπει να φέρουν τα διακριτικά τους και είχε τονίσει ότι συχνά δεν τα φέρουν.” Ο Υφυπουργός Προστασίας του Πολίτη Ελευθέριος Οικονόμου σας απάντησε πως “Η διαταγή στην οποία αναφέρεστε ισχύει και δεν έχει ανακληθεί. Αναμφισβήτητα θα δούμε και την πιστή τήρησή της.” Άρα κάθε όργανο που δεν τα φέρει υποπίπτει σε πειθαρχικό παράπτωμα που πρέπει να οδηγεί σε κυρώσεις.

Παρακαλούμε λοιπόν να υποβάλετε ερώτηση στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη ζητώντας το συστηματικό έλεγχο και την επιβολή κυρώσεων στους παραβάτες και ενδεχομένως αναφερόμενοι σε καταγγελίες και φωτογραφικό υλικό που επιβεβαιώνει αυτό που όλοι συμφωνούν ότι συμβαίνει.

2. Στατιστικά στοιχεία πειθαρχικών ερευνών και κυρώσεων

Ο Υφυπουργός Προστασίας του Πολίτη ανέφερε πως “από την 9 Ιουνίου 2017, μέχρι σήμερα, η Διεύθυνση Αστυνομικού Προσωπικού του Αρχηγείου απέστειλε σε ηλεκτρονική μορφή αλληλογραφία, Συνήγορο του Πολίτη τετρακόσιες σαράντα τρεις υποθέσεις για υπό έρευνα περιστατικά αυθαιρεσίας, που εμπίπτουν στις διατάξεις του ν. 4443/2016.” Όμως “Σε ό,τι αφορά τα αποτελέσματα από πλευράς διενέργειας ΕΔΕ, δεν έχω πρόχειρα τα στοιχεία, δεδομένου ότι για όπου έχει διαπιστωθεί υπαιτιότητα σε τέτοιου είδους περιστατικά έχουν σταλεί και στον εισαγγελέα, διότι αποτελούν και πολύ σοβαρά ποινικά αδικήματα. Ως εκ τούτου, αυτήν τη στιγμή δεν έχω την ετοιμότητα να σας απαντήσω με συγκεκριμένα στοιχεία. Είναι βέβαιο, όμως, ότι όλες αυτές οι υποθέσεις για όπου προκύπτουν ενοχές αποστέλλονται και στη δικαιοσύνη και εφαρμόζεται η ποινική διαδικασία. Να είστε απόλυτα βέβαιος περί αυτού.”Παρακαλούμε λοιπόν να υποβάλετε ερώτηση στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη και τον Υπουργό Δικαιοσύνης ζητώντας αναλυτικά στοιχεία για τα μέχρι σήμερα αποτελέσματα των 443 πειθαρχικών ερευνών ανά μορφή καταγγελλόμενων παραπτωμάτων/αδικημάτων και τη συνέχεια που έδωσαν οι εισαγγελίες σε όσες σχετικές δικογραφίες πειθαρχικών ερευνών έφθασαν σε αυτές. Είναι απόλυτα επείγον να δοθούν στοιχεία γιατί όπως δήλωσε σήμερα ο Συνήγορος του Πολίτη υπάρχει “μια αίσθηση ατιμωρησίας των αστυνομικών οργάνων.”

3. Έκφραση συγγνώμης προς τα θύματα

“Ο Συνήγορος του Πολίτη σάς έχει προτείνει ως Εθνικός Μηχανισμός Διερεύνησης Περιστατικών Αυθαιρεσίας από τα Σώματα Ασφαλείας τουλάχιστον σε αυτές τις περιπτώσεις ο διοικητικός προϊστάμενος, ο Αρχηγός της ΕΛΑΣ να ζητήσει συγγνώμη, από τη στιγμή που έχουν παραγραφεί πια αυτά τα αδικήματα, λόγω ακριβώς της καθυστέρησης της ελληνικής διοίκησης και της ελληνικής δικαιοσύνης.” Αγνοείτε πως η Ελλάδα αποφάνθηκε πως αυτή η διαδικασία προσκρούει στο νόμο (!!!), στην έκθεση που υπέβαλε στις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2019 στην Επιτροπή Υπουργών του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης που είχε καλοδεχθεί την υιοθέτησης αυτού του μέτρου στα πλαίσια της εκτέλεσης των αποφάσεων της ομάδας Μακαρατζή (https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680980725); Ως πανεπιστημιακός συνταγματολόγος και πρώην ΣτΠ ο Γιώργος Καμίνης πώς κρίνει αυτή τη θέση της Ελλάδας (που προφανώς αγνοούσε) που σημαίνει επίσης πως η πρόταση αυτή του ΣτΠ δεν ήταν σύννομη (αν είναι ποτέ δυνατόν αυτό!).

Παρακαλούμε λοιπόν να υποβάλετε ερώτηση στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη προτείνοντας την υιοθέτηση αυτού του μέτρου.

4. ΠΔΕ και ΕΔΕ

Ο Υφυπουργός Προστασίας του Πολίτη ανέφερε πως “Σε σχέση τώρα με τα καταγγελλόμενα περιστατικά κακοποίησης, κακομεταχείρισης και ακραίας συμπεριφοράς αστυνομικών σε βάρος πολιτών που φέρονται ότι διεπράχθησαν τη 17η Νοεμβρίου στην Αθήνα, μετά το πέρας των εκδηλώσεων και της πορείας, και προβλήθηκαν ως τέτοιες στον ηλεκτρονικό και έντυπο Τύπο, σας ενημερώνω, απαντώντας σε σχετικό ερώτημά σας, ότι ήδη έχει διαταχθεί διενέργεια αντίστοιχων προκαταρκτικών διοικητικών εξετάσεων (ΠΔΕ). Ομοίως για τα καταγγελλόμενα περιστατικά ως προς την κακομεταχείριση πολιτών και ακραία συμπεριφορά αστυνομικών που φέρονται ότι έλαβαν χώρα την 6η Δεκεμβρίου στην Αθήνα μετά το πέρας των εκδηλώσεων και της πορείας για τη μνήμη του Αλέξανδρου Γρηγορόπουλου και δημοσιοποιήθηκαν στον ηλεκτρονικό και έντυπο Τύπο, διατάχθηκε διενέργεια ένορκης διοικητικής εξέτασης (ΕΔΕ). Σε όλες τις περιπτώσεις η διενέργεια των ερευνών ανατέθηκε σε αξιωματικούς, που ουδεμία διοικητική εξάρτηση έχουν με τις ανά περίπτωση εμπλεκόμενες υπηρεσίες και τους εμπλεκόμενους αστυνομικούς. ” Γιατί μόνο ΠΔΕ για τα πρώτα και ΕΔΕ μόνο για τα δεύτερα; Και ποιοι είναι οι αξιωματικοί που τις κάνουν και φέρεται να μην έχουν διοικητική εξάρτηση, όταν εκτός απροόπτου όπως όλες οι ΠΔΕ και ΕΔΕ που είναι γνωστές στο ΕΠΣΕ γίνονται από αξιωματικούς υπηρεσιών που υπάγονται, όπως και οι εμπλεκόμενες υπηρεσίες, στη ΓΑΔΑ;

Παρακαλούμε λοιπόν να υποβάλετε ερώτηση στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη για ποιο λόγο διατάχθηκαν μόνο ΠΔΕ για τα πρώτα επεισόδια και σε ποιες ακριβώς υπηρεσίες ανήκουν οι ερευνώντες αστυνομικοί σε σχέση με τις υπηρεσίες των εμπλεκόμενων αστυνομικών.

5. Νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία

Ο Υφυπουργός Προστασίας του Πολίτη ανέφερε τέλος πως “Αξίζει, μάλιστα, να αναδειχθεί πως η Ελληνική Αστυνομία μετά την έκδοση της ετήσιας Έκθεσης του Συνηγόρου του Πολίτη για το 2018, ανέλαβε νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία προς εναρμόνιση με τις προτάσεις του αποσκοπώντας στη βελτίωση του τρόπου απονομής του πειθαρχικού δικαίου, όπως ορίζεται από τις διατάξεις του Προεδρικού Διατάγματος 120/2008. Επιπλέον, εισηγήθηκε και την τροποποίηση συγκεκριμένων διατάξεων προς τον σκοπό αυτό. Αυτό το αναφέρω προς επίρρωση της θέσης πως ο θεσμός της Αστυνομίας δεν παραμένει αδρανής ή αναχρονιστικός.” Γνωρίζετε σεις οι ερωτώντες βουλευτές ποιες συγκεκριμένες τροποποιήσεις διατάξεων έχουν προταθεί και πού;

Αλλιώς, παρακαλούμε να υποβάλετε ερώτηση στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη για να ενημερώσει σας και τον ελληνικό λαό ποιες είναι αυτές.

Περιμένουμε με ενδιαφέρον τις απαντήσεις σας και τις ενδεχόμενες κοινοβουλευτικές ερωτήσεις στον Υπουργό Προστασίας του Πολίτη.

Με εκτίμηση

Παναγιώτης Δημητράς

Εκπρόσωπος ΕΠΣΕ
Μέλος του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικτύου Εφαρμογής των Αποφάσεων του ΕΔΔΑ (EIN)
Μέλος της Γενικής Συνέλευσης της Παγκόσμιας Οργάνωσης Κατά των Βασανιστηρίων (OMCT)

Briefing Committee of Ministers on SAKIR GROUP v GREECE and HOUSE of MACEDONIAN CIVILIZATION AND OTHERS v GREECE


SAKIR GROUP v GREECE (48475/09), and
HOUSE of MACEDONIAN CIVILIZATION AND OTHERS v GREECE (1295/10)

by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor and EIN Board member

 

On 22nd November 2019, EIN held its quarterly civil society briefing, ahead of the 1362nd CM-DH meeting. Over 40 participants attended the briefing, including participants from 29 Permanent Representations to the Council of Europe, the EU representation to the Council of Europe, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and other CoE staff members. The main recommendations on the cases are available here.

 

The first case concerns ineffective investigations into alleged hate crimes. Mr Dimitras called upon the CM to ask Greece to amend its anti-racism Law 927/79, so as to implement the recommendations of ECRI, UN HRCttee and UN CERD to criminalize racist insults and defamation, as well as the public dissemination, public distribution, production or storage of racist material.

 

The House of Macedonian Civilization case is about the non-registration by courts of an association, contrary to the Court’s 1998 judgment concerning the same association. On behalf of the House of Macedonian Civilization, Mr Dimitras urged the Committee of Ministers to join the House of Macedonian Civilization and the Bekir-Ousta group of cases.

 

Links:

Briefing text on the Sakir group, by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)

Rule 9.1. and 9.2. on the Sakir group, by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (October 2019)

Briefing text on the House of Macedonian Civilization and others, by Panayote Dimitras

Rule 9.1 on the House of Macedonian Civilization and others, by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (October 2019)

Briefing Committee of Ministers on Bekir Ousta and others v Greece

EIN civil society briefing ahead of the CM-DH meeting

9 September 2019

Bekir Ousta and others v Greece (Application No 35151/05)
by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor and EIN Board member

 

On 6th September 2019, EIN held its quarterly civil society briefing, ahead of the 1355th CM-DH meeting. Over 40 participants attended the briefing, including participants from the Permanent Representations to the Council of Europe, the EU representation to the Council of Europe, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and other CoE staff members. The main recommendations on the cases are available here.

 

Panayote.jpg

The Bekir-Ousta and others group of cases concerns Greece’s failure for some twelve years to execute the ECtHR judgments finding violations of the freedom of association of three ethnic Turkish associations. Mr Dimitras underlined that no progress had been made with regard to legislative measures to change the procedure for registration of these associations, in a way that would be consistent with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Dimitras called for the relevant legislative changes to be made – failing which, the Committee of Ministers should issue an Interim Resolution in early 2020.

Links:

Briefing text by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)

Rule 9.2. on the Bekir Ousta and others group of case v Greece, by GHM (July 2019)

06/09/2019: EIN civil society briefing on Bekir-Ousta and other cases ahead of the CM-DH meeting

EIN civil society briefing ahead of the CM-DH meeting

 

On 6th September 2019, EIN held its quarterly civil society briefing, ahead of the 1355th CM-DH meeting. Over 40 participants attended the briefing, including participants from the Permanent Representations to the Council of Europe, the EU representation to the Council of Europe, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and other CoE staff members.

Presentations were given on the following cases:

GENDERDOC-M v Republic of Moldova (Application No 9106/06), on unjustified bans on Pride marches,

D.H. and others v the Czech Republic (Application No 57325/00), on discrimination in the enjoyment of the applicants’ right to education due to their assignment to special schools between 1996 and 1999, on account of their Roma origin,

McKerr group of cases v the UK (Application No 28883/95), on actions of security forces in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, with a focus on the Finucane case (Application No 29178/95),

Bekir Ousta and others v Greece (Application No 35151/05) on refusal to register or dissolution of the applicants’ associations,

The main recommendations on the cases are available here.

GENDERDOC-M v Republic of Moldova (Application No 9106/06)

by Nigel Warner, member of ILGA Europe, and EIN Bureau member

Nigel.jpg

The case concerns inter alia the violation of the applicant NGO’s right to peaceful assembly arising from the ban on holding a demonstration planned for May 2005 to encourage the adoption of laws to protect sexual minorities from discrimination (violation of Article 11); the discrimination against the applicant NGO on account of the difference in treatment between it and other NGOs which were allowed by the authorities to hold demonstrations in the same period of time, the authorities’ disapproval of the demonstrations which they considered to promote homosexuality, and the unclear reasons adduced by the authorities in rejecting the applicant’s request to hold a demonstration (violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11).

In May 2019 participants in the Chisinau pride march were able, for the second year running, to take part in an authorised freedom of assembly event and complete the planned route. However, whilst this positive development is welcomed, it is also unclear as to whether it will last. Many of the country’s most senior politicians have adopted a firm public stance against Pride marches.

The Moldovan authorities Action Report of 27 June 2019 invited the Committee of Ministers to close the supervision of execution of this judgment. In July 2019, GENDERDOC-M and ILGA Europe submitted a joint communication, arguing that, in view of the uncertain political situation in the country, and notwithstanding the positive development referred to above, it would be premature to close supervision of this judgment.

The case was presented by Nigel Warner, member of ILGA Europe. His presentation was based on the Rule 9.2 submission of July 2019.

Links:

Action Report by the Moldovan authorities (27 June 2019)

Rule 9.2 submission by ILGA Europe and GENDERDOC-M (July 2019)

Power point by Nigel Warner, ILGA Europe (6/9/2019)

D.H. and others v the Czech Republic (Application No 57325/00)

by Štěpán Drahokoupil, OSF Prag,
and Veronika Bazalová, Lawyer, Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic

IMG_4334.JPG

In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights decided that there was a systemic discrimination of Roma children in the Czech Republic. The Grand Chamber ruled that 18 Roma children had been sent to special schools and taught a reduced educational programme.

In December 2018, the Ministry of Education proposed changes to the Decree on Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs. In her presentation, Ms Bazalová underlined that, should they be adopted, these changes would be problematic, as they would lead to:

1.      The decrease of the maximum number of pedagogical staff per classroom

2.      The establishment of special schools for pupils with various kinds of disabilities

In his presentation, Mr Drahokoupil outlined how reforms since the judgment had had a negligible effect on the numbers of Roma children being sent to special schools. In their recommendations, Mr Drahokoupil and Ms Bazalová therefore called on to the Committee of Ministers to monitor the implementation of the D. H. case until there is a drop in proportion of Roma educated in reduced programmes by 2,88 percent points in 5 consecutive years, starting by the school year 2018/2019.

Links:

Power Point presentation by Mr Štěpán Drahokoupil, OSF Prag, and Veronika Bazalová, Lawyer, Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic (6/9/2019)

Rule 9.2 on the D.H. and others v the Czech Republic case, by OSF Prague (Nadace OSF), Amnesty International and Forum for Human Rights (August 2019)

McKerr group of cases v the UK (Application No 28883/95),
with a focus on the
Finucane case (Application No 29178/95),

by Daniel Holder, Deputy Director, Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ)

Daniel.jpg

These cases concern investigations into the deaths of the applicants’ next-of-kin in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, either during security force operations or in circumstances giving rise to suspicion of collusion with those forces.

In his presentation, Daniel Holder focused on the Stormont House Agreement (SHA), calling for a clear timetable in relation to the implementation of the new legacy institutions under this agreement. With regard to the Finucane case, he underlined the urgent need for a fully independent Article 2 public inquiry into Pat Finucane’s murder. Given the lack of a clear commitment from the UK in response to the UK Supreme Court ruling of February 2019 – which found that no Article 2 compliant investigation had taken place to date – Mr Holder called upon the Ministers’ Deputies to re-open examination of this individual measure.

Links:

Power Point presentation by Daniel Holder, CAJ (6/9/2019)

Rule 9.2. on the McKerr group of cases by CAJ (July 2019)

Bekir Ousta and others v Greece (Application No 35151/05)

by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor and EIN Board member

Panayote.jpg

The Bekir-Ousta and others group of cases concerns Greece’s failure for some twelve years to execute the ECtHR judgments finding violations of the freedom of association of three ethnic Turkish associations. Mr Dimitras underlined that no progress had been made with regard to legislative measures to change the procedure for registration of these associations, in a way that would be consistent with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Panayote called for the relevant legislative changes to be made – failing which, the Committee of Ministers should issue an Interim Resolution in early 2020.

Links:

Briefing text by Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)

Rule 9.2. on the Bekir Ousta and others group of case v Greece, by GHM (July 2019)

Pictures: EIN Secretariat – 

Briefing Committee of Ministers on Makaratzis and others group of cases v Greece and Bekir Ousta and others group of cases v Greece

EIN civil society briefing focuses on Georgia, Greece and the Russian Federation

26 November 2018

On 23 November 2018, EIN held its quarterly civil society briefing, ahead of the 1331st CM-DH meeting.

Presentations were given on the following cases: (…)

2- Makaratzis v Greece (Application No 50385/99) – Ill-treatment by coastguards and other state agents and a lack of effective investigations. (…)

4- Bekir Ousta v Greece (Application 35151/05) – Refusal of domestic courts to register the applicants’ associations.

Over 35 participants attended the briefing, including participants from the Permanent Representations to the Council of Europe, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, and other CoE staff members. The main recommendations from the briefing are available here. (…)

2- Makaratzis and others group of cases v Greece (Application No 50385/99)

These cases concern ill-treatment and the unauthorized and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials.

An update on the group was delivered by Panayote Dimitras from the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), which represents the victims in nine of thirteen cases of the group.

Mr Dimitras first underlined the positive points included in Greece’s communication dated 4/10/2018 on the Makaratzis group of cases, i.e. the beginning of the functioning of the National Mechanism for the Investigation of Arbitrary Behaviour (hereafter “the Mechanism”) within the framework of the Greek Ombudsman; and the agreement of the Government with the Mechanism recommendation that letters of apology be sent to victims of the incriminating acts.

He further highlighted the historical decision of the Supreme Court Prosecutor, in the Chowdury and others v Greece case, to file an appeal for the cassation of a domestic court judgment for the benefit of the law, to comply with the ECtHR judgment ruling that this domestic judgment was violating the ECHR. He reminded that GHM had recommended as a fundamental remedy to execute ECtHR judgments the filing of such appeals for cassation by the Supreme Court Prosecutor in case where the violations ruled by the ECtHR resulted from domestic court judgments.

Despite these positive developments, there is still need for further progress. With regard to the work of the Ombudsman as the Mechanism for the investigation of arbitrary behaviour, in particular, Mr Dimitras regretted the lack of transparency and information on the Mechanism. GHM, which represents the victims in nine out of thirteen cases has never received any communication from the Mechanism. Most importantly, Mr Dimitras expressed his concern over the decision by the Ombudsman on almost all new cases not to carry out his own investigations but only to supervise them, and entrust the disciplinary investigations to what GHM considers as objectively partial investigation bodies. He also recalled that, in its Report on Greece of 2 November 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee evaluated the answers from Greece related to the work of the Ombudsman and the effectiveness of the Mechanism as either partially satisfactory or not satisfactory.

With regard to the Makaratzis group of cases, GHM therefore urged the CM to ask the Greek government to:

  • reopen all disciplinary investigations in the 13 cases of the Makaratzis group;

  • request the Supreme Court Prosecutor to file appeals for cassation for the benefit of law of ten domestic judgments in the Makaratzis group of cases found by the ECtHR to be in violation of the ECHR;

  • provide detailed information on the punishment of law enforcement officials for misconduct, ill-treatment or disproportionate use of force;

  • make sure that the Ombudsman investigates himself the torture or ill-treatment allegations;

  • empower the Ombudsman to impose sanctions. To do so, the law should be amended so that the Mechanism can impose penalties; concretely, a solution would be to remove the Mechanism from the Ombudsman and make it independent.

  • introduce the necessary amendments so that the definition of torture is compatible with Article 1 of UN CAT

The memo of Mr Dimitras on this group of cases is available here. The latest communication from the Greek government (September 2017) is here. You can also download the Rules 9.2. September and October submissions by the Greek Helsinki Monitor. (…)


4. Bekir Ousta and others group of cases v Greece (Application No 35151/05)

These cases concern violations of the right to freedom of association (Article 11) due to the refusal to register Turkish minority associations (Bekir-Ousta and Others and Emin and Others; final domestic decisions in 2006 and 2005 respectively).

Mr Dimitras, from the Greek Helsinki Monitor, gave a summary of the developments since the last examination of the case by the CM, in December 2017. In February 2018, the Cultural Association of Turkish Women of the Prefecture of Xanthi was refused registration on similar grounds as in the present group of cases. In its 2018 communications, mentioned Mr Dimitras, Greece has refused to address the CM December 2017 concerns on these developments. More importantly, the Supreme Court Judgment dissolving the Turkish Union of Xanthi(which was the first of the three Turkish minority associations of the group of cases that filed an application for the reopening of the domestic proceedings), was considered by the Greek government as irrevocable. This means, Mr Dimitras explained, “that any similar applications for the reopening of the proceedings on the basis of Articles 29 and 30 of Law 4491/2017 by ethnic Turkish and ethnic Macedonian minority associations vindicated by the ECtHR will have no chance to become admissible by domestic courts”.

Bearing in mind these developments, Mr Dimitras called on the CM to ask the Greek government to:

  • provide explanations for the two domestic court decisions not to register the new Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Prefecture of Xhanti, and to reject as inadmissible the Turkish Union of Xhanti’s application to have its dissolution annulled;

  • promptly introduce a legislative amendment that will change the procedure so as to introduce a simple registration of associations, along the line of (for instance) the French model;

  • request that the Supreme Court Prosecutor to file appeals for cassation against all domestic judgments that were found by the ECtHR to violate the ECHR, including the four judgments related to the Bekir -Ousta associations.

The memo of Mr Dimitras and his recommendations are available here. The Rule 9.2. submission of the Greek Helsinki Monitor published in September and October 2018 are there. The December 2017 CM decision on this case is here. (…)

 

Briefing Committee of Ministers on Bekir-Ousta and others group v Greece

IMG_20171124_103546

Greek, Russian and Ukrainian cases
presented at latest EIN briefing on implementation

28 November 2017

On 24 November 2017, the European Implementation Network convened a quarterly civil society briefing on cases of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) scheduled for review at the 1302nd Human Rights Meeting (DH) of the Committee of Ministers’ (CM) Deputies on 5-7 December 2017. The meeting was held at the Palais de l’Europe and attended by representatives of over twenty delegations, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This was the fourth briefing undertaken in 2017, following previous briefings on different cases held in February, May and September respectively. The following cases were discussed at the briefing: Bekir-Ousta and others group v GreeceOAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v Russian FederationKaverzin, Afanasyev groups, Karabet and Others, and Belousov v Ukraine, and Nevmerzhitsky, Yakovenko, Logvinenko, Isayev and Melnik groups v Ukraine. summary of points in the form of 3-5 recommendations made by all presenters on their respective cases can be found here and further information on the discussions at the briefing is provided below.

Bekir-Ousta and others group v Greece (Appl. No. 35151/05)

This group of cases concern the refusal by domestic courts to register associations on the grounds that their aim was to promote the idea that an ethnic Turkish minority existed in Greece. In 2008 the ECtHR found a violation of Article 11 of the Convention; however, none of the applicant organisations have been registered or re-registered to date. A similar judgment was made in 2015 in the case of a Macedonian minority organisation in Greece House of Macedonian Civilization and others v Greece.

Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson of the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), provided an overview of the recent developments related to the recognition of Turkish and Macedonian minorities in Greece. He drew the CM’s attention to the fact that Greek courts continue to refuse registration of the associations. As stated by the Greek courts in 2017 in the cases of the Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Prefecture of Xanthi and the House of Macedonian Civilization, there is no “structured Turkish minority” and no Macedonian nation, no Macedonian culture, no Macedonian language, and no Macedonian minority”. Mr. Dimitras also gave his assessment of the recent legislative amendments allowing the reopening of the cases adjudicated by the ECtHR and adopted by Parliament on 13 October 2017.

The GHM memo can be found here. The four submissions of the GHM to the Department for Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights pursuant to Rule 9.2 of the CM’s Rules for the Supervision of the Execution of Judgments can be found hereherehere and here.

24/11/2017: Presentation to the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on the execution of Bekir-Ousta and others group of cases against Greece and of House of Macedonian Civilization and others against Greece

GREEK HELSINKI MONITOR (GHM)
A
ddress: P.O. Box 60820, GR-15304 Glyka Nera
Telephone: (+30) 2103472259 Fax: (+30) 2106018760
e-mail: panayotedimitras@gmail.com website: https://greekhelsinki.wordpress.com



Presentation to the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on the execution of
Bekir-Ousta and others group of cases against Greece (Application No. 35151/05)
and of
House of Macedonian Civilization and others against Greece (Application No. 1295/10)

24 November 2017

DPY-_vzXcAAS3HAGreek Helsinki Monitor‘s Panayote Dimitras (in the middle) making the presentation, with Kevin Steeves on his right and Piers Gardner and Vitalia Lebid on his left

 

1. Summary

Greece’s failure to execute the ECtHR judgments finding violations of the freedom of association of three ethnic Turkish and one ethnic Macedonian associations reflects the fact that Greece is the only European country whose administrative and judicial authorities do not recognize (or even simply acknowledge) the existence of the ethno-national (Turkish and Macedonian) minorities. If these associations, or other Turkish or Macedonian associations, (re-)register as a measure of execution of these judgments, this will be tantamount to a recognition (or acknowledgment) of the existence of these two ethno-national (Turkish and Macedonian) minorities, and hence of reversal of Greek policy.

2. Greek courts deny the existence of ethno-national Turkish and Macedonian minorities

Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) has documented this interpretation of the Greek courts’ stance, by submitting in 2017 to the Committee of Ministers (CM) two recent judgments of domestic courts rejecting registration of a new ethnic Turkish association, the Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Prefecture of Xanthi, and of the, twice successful before the ECtHR, House of Macedonian Civilization. Their registration was rejected expressly because, according to the domestic courts, there is no “structured Turkish minority” and no Macedonian nation, no Macedonian culture, no Macedonian language, and no Macedonian minority.”

Additionally, in the September 2017 judgment for the House of Macedonian Civilization, the domestic court argued that the ECtHR judgments do not penetrate the Greek legal order and hence cannot annul the domestic court judgments. It added that the previous domestic judgments were issued not only because the aims of the association were a threat to public order and security but also “to protect the rights and freedoms of others, protected by Article 8 ECHR,” which rights, the Florina court claimed, were not taken into consideration by the ECtHR. The Florina court finally stated that the situation concerns a sensitive issue of cultural identity and is thus similar to the ban to wear the burqua that the ECtHR upheld in S.A.S. v. France.

The CM is requested to note that the Greek Government did not comment on the 16 September 2017 GHM submission on these cases and has to date not commented on the subsequent 5 November 2017 GHM submission, where the aforementioned arguments were first made by GHM.

3. The true value of the recently introduced “amendments” allowing the reopening of the cases

Great emphasis was put by Greece on the amendments allowing the reopening of the cases adjudicated by the ECtHR adopted by Parliament on 13 October 2017. In fact, of greater importance for that examination is the debate that preceded the adoption and the addition to those amendments of clauses that practically exclude the reopening of the cases on the associations of the ethno-national (Turksih and Macedonian) minorities after successful ECtHR judgments.

The CM is requested to compare the texts of the amendments finally adopted by the Greek Parliament on 13 October 2017 as submitted on 23 October 2017 to the CM by the Greek Government with the amendments initially tabled before the Greek Parliament but withdrawn because of widespread opposition as submitted on 11 September 2017 to the CM by the Greek Government. In the initial amendments, the admissibility of an application of revocation or amendment following an ECtHR judgment was binding for the domestic courts, which then had to examine the merits of the application. In the finally adopted legislative provisions, the admissibility of an application of revocation or amendment following an ECtHR judgment to be issued in the future is no longer binding but is “subject to the terms and restrictions provided in the relevant provisions of ECHR concerning the protection of national security, public order, the prevention of crime, the protection of health or morals and the protection of rights and freedoms of others.” Additionally, for ECtHR judgments issued in the past, such application has to also satisfy “the restrictions of article 11 par. 2. of the ECHR and the other provisions of ECHR, as well as international conventions.” [sic – they mean international treaties (συνθήκες) and imply the Treaty of Lausanne].

During the parliamentary debate, it had become clear that, except for the senior government partner SYRIZA, no other party was willing to vote for the initially tabled amendments unless the restrictions mentioned above were added. Then all major non-extremist political parties voted in favour of the amendments with the notable and historical first ever dissent from the party lines by all four “Muslim” (i.e. Turkish) minority MPs who voted against the amendments because they considered them ostensible pretexts.

The CM is aware that the restrictions introduced by the Greek legislator had been taken into consideration by the ECtHR when the latter issued the five judgments for the three Turkish and, twice, for the one Macedonian associations. The ECtHR had then rejected these restrictions which were included in the Greek Government’s observations. Now the Greek Government and the Greek Parliament introduced them in the legislation on the possible re-examination of these cases so that domestic courts, in addition to their persistent refusal to register Turkish and Macedonian minority associations, are empowered with a legal provision to consider inadmissible such applications for revocation.

The CM is therefore requested to reject the Greek Government’s conclusion: “Il s’agit d’une évolution importante de la législation interne qui répond aux demandes du Comité des Ministres (CM/Del/Dec(2017)1294/H46-12 et CM/Del/Dec(2017)1280/H46-13), dans la mesure où elle permet la réouverture devant les juridictions helléniques et l’examen à la lumière des constats de la CEDH des demandes d’enregistrement des associations des requérants.”

The CM is urged to conclude that, on the contrary, this development of the legislation does not respond to the demands of the CM as it effectively does not allow the re-examination by the Greek courts of the applications for registration of the applicants’ associations. The CM is also requested to recall that the Greek Government has failed to execute for 20 years the House of Macedonian Civilization judgments and for 10 years the three Turkish associations judgments in the Bekir Ousta group of cases. The CM is also requested to recall that 2 years ago the ECtHR decided not to examine new applications by the three Turkish associations as long as the CM is examining the (non-)execution of the corresponding 2008 judgments. Finally, the CM should take into consideration that during that 20-year period, several UN Treaty Bodies and Council of Europe institutions like the Commissioner for Human Rights and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have issued recommendations asking Greece to register these minority associations and/or recognize the corresponding ethnic Turkish and Macedonian minorities: Greece has opted to ignore all these recommendations.

4. Concluding recommendations

The CM is requested to consider that the Greek Government may be in effect violating Article 18 ECHR, after the introduction in domestic legislation of restrictions included in Article 11 ECHR that the ECtHR has ruled that they cannot apply in the cases of the minority associations, with the sole purpose to prevent the execution of the judgments. The abusive introduction in domestic legislation of these restrictions for reasons of state or to safeguard ethnic majority political tendencies against ethnic minority actors amounts to a destruction of the fundamental freedom of association. Since the CM does not have the competence to examine such claim and in view of the decades-long obstinacy of Greece not to execute these judgments, coupled only by its adamant refusal to recognize the existence of ethnic minorities in its territory, a unique case among Council of Europe member states, the CM is requested to: 

  1. join the examination of the Bekir Ousta group of cases with the House of Macedonian Civilization case, 
  1. ask Greece to provide explanations for the domestic court decisions not to register the new Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Prefecture of Xanthi and, for a third time [!!], the House of Macedonian Civilization, 
  1. ask Greece to provide explanations for the amendments adopted with restrictions that appear to provide a legal basis to reject the reopening of the cases of the minority associations, 
  1. urge Greece to change the procedure for registration of associations so as not to depend on judgments by domestic courts that appear reluctant to register ethnic Turkish and Macedonian associations, and 
  1. serve formal notice on Greece of its intention, at a future meeting in 2018, to issue an interim resolution that Greece has failed to fulfil its obligation under Article 46§1 by non-registering these five minority associations, which is an indication of violation of Article 18 ECHR, in which resolution the CM will recommend appropriate actions.