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The case of two Greek soldiers detained in Turkey: human rights and the rule of law must be upheld

Written declaration No. 654 | Doc. 14541 | 25 April 2018

Ms Ioanneta KAVVADIA, Greece, UEL ; Mr Werner AMON, Austria, EPP/CD ; Ms Athanasia ANAGNOSTOPOULOU, Greece, UEL ; Lord Donald ANDERSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Theodora BAKOYANNIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Ms Sybille BENNING, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Peter BEYER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Klotilda BUSHKA, Albania, SOC ; Ms Anastasia CHRISTODOULOPOULOU, Greece, UEL ; Ms Milena DAMYANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Miren Edurne GORROTXATEGUI, Spain, UEL ; Mr Jürgen HARDT, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Frank HEINRICH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Valeri JABLIANOV, Bulgaria, SOC ; Ms Lotta JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Sweden, UEL ; Ms Liana KANELLI, Greece, UEL ; Ms Nina KASIMATI, Greece, UEL ; Ms Colette KELLEHER, Ireland, SOC ; Mr Attila KORODI, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Georgios MAVROTAS, Greece, SOC ; Mr Evangelos MEIMARAKIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas NICK, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Bérengère POLETTI, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Georgios PSYCHOGIOS, Greece, UEL ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Vetle Wang SOLEIM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Ms Inna ŞUPAC, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC ; Lord Don TOUHIG, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Konstantinos TZAVARAS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Miltiadis VARVITSIOTIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Evangelos VENIZELOS, Greece, SOC ; Mr Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Martin WHITFIELD, United Kingdom, SOC

On 1 March 2018, two Greek military personnel, Lt. Angelos Mitretodis and Sgt. Dimitris Kouklatzis, were arrested by the Turkish authorities, allegedly having strayed across the border. The two soldiers have stated that they lost their way in bad weather, while on routine patrol along the Greek-Turkish land border. Despite calls from European Union and NATO officials for the soldiers' release and the Greek Government's efforts to secure their return, the two have now been held for almost two months, without charges being brought against them.

Whereas, Article 5.2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) states that "Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him".

Therefore, the undersigned members of the Parliamentary Assembly call upon the Turkish authorities to swiftly conclude the judicial process and immediately release the two Greek soldiers. We further call upon the Turkish authorities to scrupulously follow legal proceedings and fully respect the human rights and legal guarantees enshrined in international law, including the ECHR. Furthermore, we call upon the institutions and member States of the Council of Europe to show solidarity to Greece in this matter.