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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...
Letter

Greece urged to protect the human rights of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and de-institutionalise them

12/09/2016 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner published a letter he addressed to the Greek government noting with interest the efforts made by Greece since the mid-1980s in order to end  institutionalisation of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and to develop community care services. However, he is gravely concerned by the instances of deaths and of physical restraint of patients in certain...
Letter

Commissioner urges Greece to create an effective law enforcement complaint mechanism and eradicate hate crime

19/08/2016 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner published a letter he addressed to the Greek government  concerning the Bill on a complaint mechanism covering  law enforcement and detention facility agents. The Commissioner welcomes the fact that the Ombudsman, an independent and efficient national human rights structure, will be empowered to investigate following receipt of complaints and to carry out ex officio...
Visit to Greece

Greece: progress in combating racism, but concerns remain about the impact of austerity

08/07/2016 Athens
“I welcome the government’s efforts to combat racism and homophobia in Greece. The 2014 anti-racism law has consolidated the legislative framework and provided useful tools to prosecutors and police officers. However, much more is needed in order to bring this law to life and to further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of justice and law enforcement” said today Nils Muižnieks, the...
Statement

The implementation of the EU-Turkey deal must uphold human rights

21/03/2016 Strasbourg
Now that the EU Turkey deal has been reached, the utmost care should be given to its implementation in order to dispel a number of serious concerns that the deal elicits from a human rights perspective. It is positive that the agreement contains some legal safeguards, such as the adherence to international and European laws. This should prevent automatic collective returns and offer an...

Reply to the Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean (Greece)

Letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, in reply to Mr Miltiadis VARVITSIOTIS, Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean (Greece) Read the reply to the Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean Read the letter of the Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean
Letter to Greek Ministers

Greece must end collective expulsions

14/1/2014 Strasbourg
"The large number of reported collective expulsions by Greece of migrants, including a large number of Syrians fleeing war violence, and allegations of ill-treatment of migrants by members of the coast guard and of the border police raise serious human rights concerns. I call on the Greek authorities to carry out effective investigations into all recorded incidents and take all necessary...

The Commissioner welcomes Greek State's action against Golden Dawn

[Strasbourg, 30/09/2013 9:30] - I welcome the Greek State's action against Golden Dawn. It is a major step forward in the protection of the rule of law and democracy in Greece, and hopefully a decisive move to end impunity for Golden Dawn's criminal activity. I encourage the Greek authorities to pursue with resolve their action and to apply both the common criminal and anti-racism legislation...
Report on Greece

Greece must curb hate crime and combat impunity

16/04/2013 Strasbourg
"Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime and a weak state response. Sustained and concerted action, notably by the police and the courts, is necessary to protect the rule of law and human rights in the country" said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing a report based on the findings of his visit to Greece from 28...
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