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Human Rights Comment

Why remembering the Holocaust is a human rights imperative

18/10/2016 Strasbourg
The Shoah stands out as one of the defining moments of history that has shaped the conscience of mankind. It is unique in its roots, implementation and envisioned totality. During my mandate as Commissioner for Human Rights, I have attended a number of ceremonies of commemoration of the victims of the Shoah, not only in Strasbourg, but also in Albania and Greece , to highlight that it is our...

European countries must stop forced evictions of Roma

16/02/2016 Strasbourg
“Many Roma continue to face serious forms of discrimination and human rights violations by authorities at both national and local levels. In particular, forced evictions without due process and provision of adequate alternative housing continue unabated across Europe, in violation of member states' international human rights obligations” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner...

Luttons contre le terrorisme dans le respect du droit

Le Monde, 03/02/2016 La pérennisation de l’état d’urgence est néfaste et risque d’offrir une victoire aux agresseurs et à la peur en stigmatisant collectivement les musulmans, estime Nils Muiznieks, commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe. Les récentes déclarations du gouvernement français annonçant son intention de demander au Parlement de prolonger l’état d’urgence laissent...

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...
Human Rights Comment

Restrictions on defenders of migrants’ rights should stop

19/12/2012 Strasbourg
Defamation, threats, verbal and physical attacks, administrative sanctions and judicial harassment are used to deter human rights defenders from working with migrants and from combating the rising xenophobia and racism in Europe. Perpetrators can be both state and non-state actors. It is not acceptable to intimidate and attack defenders of migrants’ rights In several European countries, the...
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