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The Commissioner addresses the French Senate on surveillance bill

20/05/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner has released a letter addressed to the members of the French Senate Commission which is discussing the surveillance bill. The Commissioner reiterates the importance of adopting a law which is compliant with human rights and thus urges the Senators to dispel the concerns raised by the current text, namely by clarifying its scope, counterbalancing the powers of the...
Visit report

France: persistent discrimination endangers human rights

17/02/2015 Strasbourg
Read the report “Despite advances in legislation and measures to combat intolerance and racism, discrimination and hate speech not only persist in France but are on the rise. There is an urgent need to combat this in a sustained and systematic manner,” Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said today, publishing the report on his visit to France from 22 to 26...
Visit to France

France must keep its promises concerning equality

26/09/2014 Paris
“Despite efforts to implement the principle of equality in France, many forms of discrimination remain and show that a number of the Republic’s major undertakings are still to be honoured in this vital area for social cohesion and human rights”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, today, following a five-day visit to France. Intolerance is on the rise and...

Commissioner's reaction to racist attacks on French Minister of Justice Taubira

14/11/2013 Strasbourg
The racist attacks on Ms Christiane Taubira, the French Minister of Justice, over the last few months give serious cause for concern. Racist speech and, more broadly speaking, the rejection of diversity, seriously undermine human rights, human dignity and the values on which today's Europe is founded. I therefore wish to express my solidarity with Ms Taubira. Unfortunately this type of attack...
Visit to France

On-site visit to detention centre of Geispolsheim

30/10/2013 Strasbourg
On 29 October the Commissioner made an on-site visit to Strasbourg and its area focused on the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. After having met local lawyers and NGOs expert in this field, he visited the migrant detention centre of Geispolsheim, where he held discussions with the staff and detainees. He concluded the visit with a constructive meeting with the Prefect of Bas-Rhin and of...

France: Off-site hearings raise human rights concerns

[Strasbourg, 17/10/2013] – In a letter sent to the Minister of Justice, Ms Christiane Taubira, on 2 October 2013 and published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, expresses concern about respect for the human rights of the migrants required to appear at hearings of the Courts of Meaux and Bobigny held off site in the administrative detention centre of Le...

How long must LGBTI persons still wait to live free from prejudice?

[17/10/2012 11:00] "The lives of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons are still burdened by widespread prejudice, stigmatisation and in some cases even violence. Many of them are treated as second-class human beings. This situation is unbearable in today's Europe", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, on the eve of his participation...

Shoah reminds of need to stay vigilant against intolerance in Europe

[05/09/12 10:00] "The Shoah stands out as one of the defining moments of history that shaped the conscience of mankind. While unique in its roots, implementation and envisioned totality, remembrance of the Shoah has become a central part of our efforts to prevent all crimes against humanity" said today Commissioner Muižnieks at the conference "Tribute from the European Youth to the people who...

The Commissioner concerned about the pardon of Azerbaijani army officer convicted of murder

[04/09/2012 14:00] Commissioner Muižnieks expressed today his deep concerns about Azerbaijan's decision to pardon and honour Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani army officer who in 2004 brutally murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Markaryan. "Racist crimes must not go unpunished. Violent offences motivated by bias, such as racial or inter-ethnic hatred, are a particularly pernicious form of criminality....

More determination is needed to make human rights real

Strasbourg, 26/01/12 – "Europe must move with more determination from rhetoric to enforcement of human rights standards" stated the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, when presenting today the last annual report of his mandate. The report identifies fields in which stronger political action is required. One concern is the justice system which is dysfunctional in...
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