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 Karjalan palautus
1) Whereas totalitarian regimes, including the Nazi and Communist dictatorships have caused incommensurable human suffering and damages, degrading not only every conceivable human right but the very same human spirit;
2) Whereas that the iniquity of communism has devoted itself to the systematic destruction of proprietary rights and subsequently the rights of private and public ownership, including factual, personal, commercial and financial properties, impeding thereby every possible private industrial activity as well as repealing by fact and by law any public, political or religious activity, to the extent of prohibiting any form of individual professional practice;
3) Whereas the illegitimate and illegal confiscation of private properties, without any equitable remuneration on behalf of Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes, was deliberately enforced in order to persecute people because of their religion, their nationality, their social origin, or to eliminate the latter due to their opposition to the such regimes;
4) Whereas certain individuals twice suffered the taking of their properties without compensation, first by the Nazis and then by subsequent Communist regimes;
5) Whereas refugees from communism, in addition to being wrongfully deprived of their property, were often forced to relinquish their citizenship in order to protect themselves and their families from reprisals by Communists who ruled their countries;
6) Whereas the victims had no effective judicial remedy against these seizures;
7) Whereas more than half a century has passed since these egregious practices Central and East European Nations continue to avoid returning property that was illegally seized by the Nazis during WW II or by Communist regimes after the war;
8) Whereas survivors of the exodus, their descendents, and heirs to non-survivors are legally entitled to the return of property stolen form them, no country, sixteen years since the fall of Communism, has adopted a ‘model law’ for restitution;
9) Whereas present legal or administrative restrictions that require claimants to reside in, or be a citizen of, the country from which they seek restitution or compensation for confiscated property are arbitrary, discriminatory, and in violation of international law;
10) Whereas the rule of law and democratic norms require that the activity of governments and their administrative agencies be exercised in accordance with the laws passed by their parliaments, and as such laws themselves must be consistent with international human rights standards;
11) Whereas the European Union allegedly can presently only address measures taken or having continued effects after the accession. Historical acts, undertaken by authorities of former communist countries cannot be the subject of any retroactive scrutiny;
12) Whereas the European Union upholds that in accordance with Article 295(EC), the European Community shall in no way prejudice the rules in Members States governing the system of property ownership; questions of property restitution fall exclusively under the relevant national law;
13) Whereas the European Court of Human Rights (von Maltzan and others No. 7191/01), in contrast to the UN Human Rights Committee (Ivan Somers v. Hungary, Communication No. 566/1993, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/53/D/566/1993 (1996); Marik v Czech Republic U.N. Doc. CCPR No.945/2000) obstinately contends, without taking in consideration that the victims had no effective judicial remedy against these illegal measures, that expropriations are instantaneous acts of which the effects extinguish with their implementation;
14) Whereas the UN Committee on Human Rights may only consider property restitution requests which involve discriminatory regulations, given that the right of property is not directly protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
15) Whereas the recommendations of the UN Committee on Human Rights are not binding on the signatories of the Covenant;
16) Recalling art. 1 of the first additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights;
17) Recalling the European Union’s commitment to respect and defend human rights;
18) Recalling the European Union’s commitment to the duty of remembrance;
19) Recalling EP resolution B4-1493/95 on return of plundered property to Jewish communities, Council of Europe resolution 1096 (1996) on measures to dismantle the heritage of former communist totalitarian systems, as well as the Council of Europe’s resolution draft condemning totalitarian communism (Council of Europe Doc. 9875 rev) and Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly resolution 1481 (2006) regarding the need for international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes;
20) Recalling States’ international obligations under UN A/CN4.L602, Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts;
21) Recalling Jose Ayala Lasso’s speech: “Our goal remains the universal recognition of human rights, which are based on the principle of equality of all human beings. Indeed all victims of war and injustice deserve our respect and compassion, since every individual human life is precious. It is our duty to continue our endeavours in the name of the dignitas humana”;
I demand, in the name of Justice, that the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe together or either separately establish an independent forum (i.e. set up a committee composed of independent experts with the task of collecting and assessing information regarding communist property confiscations and implement a Tribunal apt to pass binding property restitution decisions on EU Member States) competent to deal with confiscated property claims since still today there is no competent forum to hear such claims;
Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the necessity to implement a judicial mechanism to redress Nazi/communists crimes, in particular property confiscations, perpetuates injustice, creates a climate of impunity and certainly lacks a fundamental understanding of the principle of the rule of law, nor has fully grasped the significance of democracy;
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