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Visit to Lithuania

Lithuania: ensure better protection for persons with disabilities, children and victims of domestic violence

09/12/2016 Lithuania

“I welcome the commitment expressed by the authorities to move away from the practice of placing children without parental care and people with disabilities in institutions. However, many persons continue to live in an institutional environment. The authorities should intensify their efforts to...

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Human Rights Comment

National human rights structures: protecting human rights while countering terrorism

Strasbourg 06/12/2016

A series of terrorist attacks has deeply traumatised Europe. In Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Ankara and beyond, shock was followed by fear of further attacks and a sense of urgency about preventing them. Preventing and combating terrorism is a clear duty of all states, which must respect and...

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Statement

European human rights officials voice serious concerns over changes to Polish laws on freedom of assembly

05/12/2016 Strasbourg

European human rights officials today expressed serious concern over legal amendments passed last week in the Polish Sejm that could undermine the right to freedom of assembly if they become law. Urging the Polish parliament to reconsider amendments to the law governing public assemblies, Michael...

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Visit Memorandum

Counter-terrorism operations in the South East of Turkey caused widespread human rights violations

02/12/2016 Strasbourg

“Numerous human rights of a very large civilian population in South-Eastern Turkey have been violated as a result of curfews imposed and anti-terrorism operations conducted there since August 2015. I call on Turkey to stop using curfews in such a manner, investigate all allegations of human...

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Letter

The Netherlands urged to strengthen human rights safeguards in its response to terrorism

29/11/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands published today Commissioner Muižnieks raises concerns about the possible detrimental impact that three counter-terrorism Bills currently under discussion may...

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Third party intervention

Azerbaijan: Repression of lawyers who defend human rights must stop

28/11/2016 Strasbourg

“Judicial harassment and retaliatory measures against human rights defenders and their lawyers continue to characterise the response of Azerbaijan’s authorities to those who express critical opinions and co-operate with international organisations to expose human rights violations in the country”...

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Country visit

Ireland: advance equality of Travellers and women

25/11/2016 Dublin

“I am deeply concerned at the persisting social exclusion and discrimination Travellers are confronted with in Ireland”, said the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks today, concluding a three-day visit to the country. With Travellers having been affected in a gravely...

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Human Rights Comment

Migrants in limbo in Europe have the right to live in dignity

15/11/2016 Strasbourg

In some countries, they call them “invisible persons”, in others – “ghosts”. Throughout Europe there are many migrants, primarily rejected asylum seekers, who live in a state of protracted legal and social limbo without any long-term prospects. The authorities refuse to regularize them or to...

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Letter

Exchange of letters with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on the human rights of Roma and persons with disabilities

04/11/2016 Strasbourg

Today Commissioner Muižnieks published a letter he addressed to Mr Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, focusing on certain issues pertaining to the human rights of Roma and of persons with disabilities. In his letter the Commissioner notably reiterates his recommendation to...

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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...

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Statement

Russia: Commissioner cancels visit to the country because of unacceptable restrictions imposed to his programme

11/10/2016 Strasbourg

In recent months, I have been discussing with the Russian authorities my intention to visit the Russian Federation in the third week of October to focus on several pressing human rights issues. It is with deep regret that I have to announce that this visit will not take place because of the...

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Visit memorandum

The Commissioner publishes a memorandum on the human rights implications of the emergency measures in Turkey

07/10/2016 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published today a memorandum on the human rights implications of the measures taken under the state of emergency by the Turkish authorities. This memorandum follows up on a visit to Ankara between 27 and 29 September 2016,...

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Country visit report

Croatia should eliminate shortcomings in transitional justice, immigration and media freedom

05/10/2016 Strasbourg

“Croatia has substantially improved its human rights law and practice in the last years. However, some recent developments put at serious risk these achievements” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing today a report based on his visit to the country...

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Letter

Letter to the Minister for Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia

23/09/2016

Letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, to Mr Aleksandar Vulin, Minister for Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia, concerning the issue of reparations to victims of wartime crimes Read the letter Read the Governments reply

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Human Rights Comment

No violence against children is acceptable, all violence is preventable

20/09/2016 Strasbourg

This was the main conclusion of the 2006 UN Global study on violence against children. In 2015, the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children published the results of a worldwide consultation of children, which highlighted that protection from violence was their second highest...

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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...

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Country visit

Latvia: Strengthen policies against bias-motivated crimes and ratify the Istanbul Convention

09/09/2016 Riga

“While Latvia has taken some important steps to advance human rights and reduce social exclusion, gaps remain in the protection of vulnerable groups. The authorities should develop community-based services for persons with disabilities, grant automatic citizenship to all children born in Latvia,...

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Human Rights Comment

Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

29/08/2016 Strasbourg

Last March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance...

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Human Rights Comment

Non-implementation of the Court’s judgments: our shared responsibility

23/08/2016 Strasbourg

In December last year, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) published a report on the longer-term future of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”). There were two challenges which particularly struck me: firstly, prolonged...

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Letter

Letter to the Prime Minister of Romania

23/08/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Romania published today, Commissioner Muižnieks requested updating information from the Romanian authorities concerning certain major issues affecting the human rights of Romania’s Roma population. This dialogue follows up on the Commissioner’s visit report to...

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