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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Jorge Tadeo Lozano Osorio, a former member of the Colombian Congress, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Taking account of the information provided by the Coordinator of the Human Rights and Hearings Committee of the Colombian Senate, dated 17 September 2008,

Taking account also of the information regularly provided by the source,

Recalling that: Mr. Lozano was convicted and given a heavy prison sentence following fundamentally flawed proceedings without being afforded the possibility of challenging them as, under Colombian law, members of Congress are tried in single instance; in 2001 he submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding the flawed judicial proceedings; despite assurances that the case would be re-examined after it was first considered inadmissible, no information to this effect has been forthcoming to date,

Considering that by Decision C-545/08 of 28 May 2008, the Colombian Constitutional Court recognized for the first time that the constitutional procedure applicable to criminal proceedings against members of the Colombian Congress, such as Mr. Lozano at the time, in which the Supreme Court Penal Chamber acts as both prosecutor and judge, was not in keeping with respect for the right to a fair trial and had to be modified accordingly; that a bill of law is now pending before the Colombian Congress to change the procedure accordingly along with introducing the possibility of appeal,

Considering that on 23 July 2008, Mr. Lozano's son, Mr. Ivanovich Lozano, was murdered in the streets of Medellin; that four weeks before his death, Mr. Lozano received direct and indirect extortionist threats, which were brought to the attention of the city’s competent police authorities (Gaula), who nevertheless reportedly took no action; recalling that, in the past, several attempts have apparently been made to silence Mr. Lozano and that his security and that of his family had been at risk for some time as a result of his critical attitude towards those who acted against him and who hold political, military or paramilitary power in Colombia,

  1. Is shocked at the killing of Mr. Lozano's son and the apparent inaction of the authorities in the face of the threats communicated to them; calls on the authorities, in keeping with their duty, to do everything in their power to conduct a full investigation into the murder with a view to identifying and bringing to trial the culprits and to provide Mr. Lozano and his family with the necessary protection; would greatly appreciate receiving information on what steps have been taken to this end;

  2. Reiterates its call on the Inter-American Commission to give full and swift consideration to Mr. Lozano's petition so as to help redress the injustice he has suffered; considers that the decision by Colombia's Constitutional Court lends the petition further weight as it constitutes a public and official acknowledgement by the Colombian courts at the highest level that, on an essential point, the legal procedure followed in his case was flawed; anxiously awaits the Commission’s decision, which it hopes, in the light of precedents and the latest Colombian jurisprudence, will be positive;

  3. Notes with satisfaction that the Colombian Congress is reviewing the procedure applicable to criminal cases against its members; trusts that a new procedure which ensures full compatibility with fundamental fair trial standards, including the right to appeal and non-discrimination of members of parliament, will soon be in place; would greatly appreciate being kept informed of progress in this respect;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to inform the Colombian Congress, the Inter-American Commission and the source of this resolution;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).
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