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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 187th session
(Geneva, 6 October 2010)

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/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010),

Referring also to the decision adopted by the Committee at its 130th session (July 2010),

  1. Endorses the views of the Committee as expressed in its decision of July 2010;

  2. Is gratified that the parliamentary authorities have agreed to the proposed on-site mission that will visit Colombia from 9 to 12 October 2010 with the mandate to promote progress in addressing the specific concerns in this case;

  3. Requests the Committee to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011), in the light of the mission's report and of such observations as the Colombian authorities and the source may meanwhile have made thereon.

Decision adopted by the Committee at its 130th session
(Geneva, 12 - 15 July 2010)

The Committee,

Referring to the case of Mr. Jorge Tadeo Lozano Osorio, a former member of the Colombian Congress, and to the resolution adopted by the Governing Council at its 186th session (April 2010),

Recalling that Mr. Lozano was convicted and given a lengthy prison sentence following fundamentally flawed proceedings he was unable to challenge since, under Colombian law, members of Congress are tried at single instance, that in 2001 he submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding the flawed judicial proceedings, and that, 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 despite the efforts made to engage with the Inter-American Commission, in particular its President and Executive Secretary, and despite the contacts made to this end by the Committee Vice-President, Senator Rosario Green,

Recalling that the Inter-American Commission concluded in its report No. 50/00, adopted on 13 April 2002 with respect to a petition from a former Venezuelan member of parliament, Mr. Figueredo Planchart, that Mr. Planchart’s right under Article 8(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights to appeal to a higher court had been breached as he had been tried in single-instance proceedings by the Venezuelan Supreme Court, which under Venezuelan constitutional law is the highest bench and the decisions of which cannot be appealed; recalling that in his letter of 12 August 2002 to the IPU Secretary General, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights drew particular attention to this case as it presented certain analogies with Mr. Lozano's case,

Recalling that, in addition to a prison term, Mr. Lozano's sentence included the withdrawal of his civil and political rights for 10 years starting in February 1998; considering that Mr. Lozano's rights have still not been restored although this period has expired,

Recalling that parliamentary elections were held in Colombia on 14 March 2010,

  1. Stresses that the American Convention on Human Rights and related jurisprudence provide extensive protection of the right to fair trial and offer direct entry points for examining the serious concerns that have arisen in Mr. Lozano's case; regrets, therefore, that the Inter-American Commission has not yet re-examined the admissibility of Mr. Lozano's petition, almost eight years after it stated that such re-examination would take place; sincerely hopes that, as has been indicated on a number of occasions, the Inter-American Commission will take a decision on the case as a matter of urgency, convinced as the Committee is that this will be crucial towards helping redress the apparent injustice Mr. Lozano has suffered;

  2. Requests the President of the Committee and the Secretary General to pursue their contacts with the Inter-American Commission to this end;

  3. Considers that several of the fair trial concerns in Mr. Lozano's case are inherent in the current procedure applicable to members of Congress in Colombia in criminal cases and, therefore, have ramifications that go far beyond Mr. Lozano’s case and that can only be fully addressed through new legislation;

  4. Calls on the Colombian authorities, in particular the new Colombian Congress, to take action with a view to overhauling the procedure applicable to criminal cases against its members so as to ensure its full compatibility with fundamental fair-trial standards, including the right to appeal and non-discrimination towards members of parliament; affirms the continued readiness of the IPU to help advance the public debate in Colombia on this complex and sensitive matter; 

  5. Remains disturbed that Mr. Lozano has still not recovered his civil and political rights; urges the Colombian authorities to remedy this unlawful situation without further delay;

  6. Considers that, with a new government and parliament shortly to be proclaimed in Colombia, an on-site mission to Colombia would be very timely for progressing in the matters pending in this case; consequently invites the Secretary General to establish contact with the authorities of the new Parliament with a view to organizing an on-site mission instructed, for the aforesaid purpose, to meet with the highest-level parliamentary, governmental and judicial authorities and with the source; is confident that the new Congress will respond favourably to this request and do its utmost to ensure that the mission can proceed as soon as possible;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to inform the competent Colombian authorities and the source accordingly;

  8. Decides to continue examining this case at its next session, to be held during the 123rd IPU Assembly (October 2010).
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