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'With the passing of Dick Marty, Europe has lost a great politician and a determined ally'

Statement by PACE President Tiny Kox paying tribute to Dick Marty on his passing

Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE)

“Few members of the Parliamentary Assembly have left such a mark on European political action as Dick Marty. As well as being remembered, his work has changed the way parliamentary investigations are led and acted upon,” said PACE President Tiny Kox. “Our Assembly will miss a dear friend, a courageous politician and a determined ally. We will remember him for all his achievements."

"Dick Marty’s quest to uncover the truth behind allegations of secret CIA detention centres after the 9/11 terror attacks and the 'rendition' of terror suspects for possible torture and detention in Europe was a milestone in parliamentary investigation. His report for the Parliamentary Assembly, published in June 2006, gave indications that fourteen European states had assisted in the perpetration of these grave human rights abuses.

In June 2007 Dick Marty delivered a second report on secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member States, containing factual evidence that torture had taken place at secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

Subsequently confirmed by judicial rulings, parliamentary inquiries and media sources, the report and the debate attracted worldwide media attention and led to five landmark rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. It also ultimately led to a US Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into CIA torture.

In December 2010, Dick Marty published a new report, this time alleging inhuman treatment and the murder of prisoners for the removal and illicit trafficking in human organs by the Kosovo Liberation Army during and after the 1998 to 1999 war, involving Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Kosovo and former Kosovo Liberation Army political leader.

An EU Special Investigative Task Force, created as a follow-up to the report, found sufficient evidence to sanction certain individuals, and led to the setting up of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, today trying Hashim Thaci and three former KLA officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He also documented grave violations in the Russian-ruled North Caucasus region, including by forces under the control of Chechnya’s governor Ramzan Kadyrov.

As Special Rapporteur on euthanasia for the Assembly's Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, Dick Marty’s 2003 report called on Council of Europe members to collect data on assisted dying, to promote debate and analysis of the evidence, and to consider whether legislation should be brought forward to exempt doctors from prosecution for assisting suicide under certain strict conditions. The report and the animated parliamentary debate around it achieved marked progress on this divisive subject. Again, his tireless defense of human rights and dignity prevailed.

Dick Marty was a courageous politician, relentless in his pursuit of justice and convinced of the power of the Parliamentary Assembly to defend human rights and the rule of law in all its member States. For all these achievements the Council of Europe granted its Pro Merito Award to Mr Marty in December. The outcomes of his work will remain a reminder of this great friend of Europe, and of his determination in defence of our common values.”