In Some of Their Own Countries, Justice Is Nothing More Than a Sick Joke, with Executions, Torture and Corruption the Norm.And Yet They Sit in Judgment on OUR Law

Article excerpt

Byline: JO WILLEY;MATTHEW HICKLEY

THE Strasbourg judges hail from a range of countries, many of which have disturbing human rights records.

The tribunal included just one British representative, Nicolas Bratza, alongside 16 foreign judges. A number of them do not even officiate as judges, instead running law schools or lecturing at colleges.

Here we examine what human rights campaigners say about the nations now standing in judgment over

British law : Greece (Judge Christos Rozakis)

BECAME a democracy only in 1974. Previously a military dictatorship. Serious concerns about justice, police brutality and ill-treatment. Crumbling prisons.

Turkey (Judge Riza Turmen)

TORTURE and ill-treatment routine.

'Disappearances' and political executions said to have claimed thousands since 1991. Political violence for three decades. More than 400 reportedly tortured to death in custody since 1980.

France (Judge Jean-Paul Costa)

ASPECTS of asylum policy contravene international standards. Instances of police brutality. Violence and threats By XXX xxxx xxxxx against ethnic and religious minorities.

Georgia (Judge Mindia Ugrekhelidze)

WIDESPREAD police torture, mistreatment and procedural violations alleged.

High death rates in prisons. Rising intolerance against religious minorities and mob attacks by militants.

Spain (Judge Antonio Pastor Ridruejo)

RIGHTS of illegal migrants and asylum seekers violated. Secretive prisons policy with overcrowding and violence.

Czech Republic (Judge Karel Jungwiert)

DEMOCRATIC state has not tackled racist violence. Serious problem of discrimination against the estimated 300,000 'Roma', or foreigners.

Croatia (Judge Nina Vaji)

VIOLATIONS of civil and political rights. Forcible repatriation of Bosnian men and discrimination between Bosnian Croats and Moslems seeking refuge.

Violence by police and armed forces.

Albania (Judge Kristaq Traja)

UNTIL 1991, communist regime kept it the poorest and most repressive state in Europe. …