18 PACE Members Sign Motion for Resolution of Enforced Disappearances in Belarus
According to Ewoud A. Plate
Humanist Committee on Human Rights
Here’s the text of the motion for a resolution that was tabled on 24 June, signed by 18 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
This motion will be referred to one or two Assembly Committees, either to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and/or to the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population. Reference to committee may take place early September at the meeting of the Assembly's Standing Committee.
The following members of the Assembly signed the motion: MM. Pourgourides (first signatory), Mrs. Jaatteenmaki, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Tritz, Vermot-Mangold, Zapfl, MM. Jurgens, Bindig, Severin, Dreyfus-Schmidt, Steenblock, Roth, Gross, Cilevics, McNamara, Frunda, Nachbar and Magnusson. They represent practically all political groups and 11 member States.
PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE.
x th SESSION
MOTION for a RESOLUTION (2004)
On enforced disappearances
1.Deeply worried that enforced disappearances remain a continuing practice in many parts of the world;
2. Gravely concerned that only very few perpetrators are being brought to justice, and that the level of impunity for the crime of enforced disappearance remains very high;
Confirming that an enforced disappearance can be defined by the following constitutive elements: a deprivation of liberty in whatever form, refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate and the whereabouts of the disappeared person, and the placing of the person outside the protection of the law;
Well aware that disappearances cause unbearable harm to the direct victims as well as to their friends en families, and in solidarity with the struggle for truth and justice of the families of disappeared persons;
3. Recognizing that human dignity entails the right to know the truth about the fate of disappeared parents;
4. Considering the specificity and particular seriousness of enforced disappearances and aware of the gaps and limitations in the existing protection of persons from them, in particular the absence of legally binding international normative instruments for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances applying for European, Asian and African countries;
5. Convinced that international co-operation is essential if the atrocious practice of enforced disappearances is to be stopped;
6. Welcoming the humanitarian efforts made since 1980 by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to discover the fate of persons reported disappeared;
7. Taking into account the example of standard setting in international law of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons of 1994, and the Draft International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Forced Disappearance of 1998;
8. Welcoming the confirmation of the crime of enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity in the mandate of the International Criminal Court;
9. Referring to the provisions of the 1992 UN Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances;
10. Recalling the commitment of the World Conference on Human right of 1993 to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent , terminate, and punish acts of enforced disappearances;
11. Referring to its own resolution 828 (1984) on enforced disappearances in general and to its recent Resolution 1371 (2004) on disappeared persons in Belarus;
12. Calling on all States to co-operate actively with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, answer its requests for information and allow it to make on-the-spot visits on request, and to provided it with the resources needed for its proper functioning;
13. Calls on the member States of the Council of Europe:
-- to support the preparation and adoption by the United Nations of a Convention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced disappearances
-- to adapt their legal system in order to incriminate the act of enforced disappearance as a crime sui generis.