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Letter

Slovenia: Parliament must ensure that legislative reform on migrants complies with human rights obligations

17/01/2017 Strasbourg

“Slovenian parliamentarians should reject amendments to the Aliens Act that are contrary to international human rights and refugee protection standards by which Slovenia is bound”, said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a letter addressed to...

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Statement

Serbia’s judiciary should prevent defamation’s chilling effect on media freedom

10/01/2017 Strasbourg

I am concerned by the possible negative impact on media freedom of the decision of the High Court in Belgrade to fine, in defamation proceedings, the political weekly NIN for damaging the reputation of the Minister of Interior of Serbia, following the publication in June 2016 of an article on the...

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Statement

Commissioner Muižnieks urges the Russian authorities to better respect journalists' rights and safety

09/01/2017 Strasbourg

I have learned with great concern that an Instagram post published by the Speaker of the Chechen Parliament last Friday intimidated Gregory Shvedov, an editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot – a Russian independent media outlet which covers news from the North Caucasus, including human rights...

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Letter

Belgium urged not to resume detention of migrant children and to expand alternatives to immigration detention for families with children

19/12/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum of Belgium, Mr Theo Francken, published today, Commissioner Muižnieks warns against resuming the practice of detaining migrant families with children. Referring to the Secretary of State’s recent general policy statement,...

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Country visit report

Latvia urged to ensure gender equality and foster an inclusive society

13/12/2016 Strasbourg

“Latvia has achieved considerable progress in adopting legislation and policies which comply with human rights standards, but the authorities must engage in more sustained efforts to bridge the remaining gaps, in particular those which still hinder gender equality and more effective protection...

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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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