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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

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/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

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,

Recalling that by Decision C-545/08 of 28 May 2008, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the constitutional procedure applicable to criminal proceedings against members of the Colombian Congress, such as Mr. Lozano at the time, in which the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court acts both as prosecutor and judge, was not in keeping with respect for the right to a fair trial and had to be modified accordingly by the legislature; considering that the bill which was brought to the Colombian Congress to change the procedure accordingly, along with introducing the possibility of appeal, was withdrawn in 2008 from the legislative agenda by the Government and Congress,

Recalling that, on 23 July 2008, one of Mr. Lozano's sons was murdered in Medellín and that the police reportedly took no action on the threats brought to its attention in the weeks before the murder; recalling also that, according to the source, several attempts have been made in the past to silence Mr. Lozano and that his security and that of his family have 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; considering that the suspected main culprit was arrested in early April 2009,

  1. Is disappointed at the failure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to act on Mr. Lozano's long-standing petition; reiterates that the Commission's intervention is crucial towards helping redress the apparent injustice Mr. Lozano has suffered; and therefore sincerely hopes that the Commission will soon pronounce on this case on the basis of precedent and the most recent Colombian jurisprudence;

  2. Is deeply concerned that the executive and parliamentary authorities have not seen fit to address, comprehensively and swiftly, the long-standing fundamental fair trial concerns regarding the procedure applicable to criminal cases brought against members of Congress; is particularly concerned that the Constitutional Court's clear instruction for legislative action to be taken in this respect has been disregarded; therefore calls again on the authorities, in particular Congress, promptly to put in place a new procedure consonant with the Constitutional Court's ruling and fair trial principles, including the right to appeal;

  3. Notes with satisfaction the progress made in the investigation into the murder of Mr. Lozano's son; trusts that the authorities will pursue their investigation with the necessary vigour and dispatch to ensure that the suspects soon stand trial; also trusts that the authorities are providing Mr. Lozano and his family with the necessary protection, particularly since the fact that the alleged main culprit is now in custody may well put them at risk of retaliation; would appreciate information on what steps have been taken to this end;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to inform the Colombian Congress, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 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 121st Assembly of the IPU (October 2009).
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