News 2010

Desecrations of cemeteries are hate crimes that exacerbate intolerance

 [30/11/10 10:30] Every second day a cemetery is desecrated in France. Acts of profanation, such as the destructions of tombs and sprayed hate messages on religious and other symbolic places, are on the rise in Europe. This is not just an issue of serious concern for the respect of...

Europe should accept more refugees in need of safe resettlement

[23/11/10 10:30] "European countries are closing their borders to migrants, arguing that they have room only for "genuine" refugees, who cannot return to their home countries without risking their lives or freedom", says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg,...

Czech Republic: “Equal education for Roma children should be guaranteed”, says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 22/11/10 – "There has been virtually no change on the ground in the Czech Republic since the European Court of Human Rights found three years ago that the country had discriminated against Roma children by educating them in schools for children with mental disabilities." This...

Bulgaria: Commissioner Hammarberg calls for more respect of minority rights

Strasbourg, 04/11/10 – The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, published today a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, on human rights of national and religious minorities. Commissioner Hammarberg highlights the need for the...

Bulgaria: Commissioner Hammarberg calls for more respect of minority rights

Strasbourg, 04/11/10 – The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, published today a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, on human rights of national and religious minorities. Commissioner Hammarberg highlights the need for the...

France: Dialogue between Commissioner Hammarberg and Minister Hortefeux on the desecration of cemeteries

Strasbourg, 02/11/10 – "I was deeply disturbed to learn of the desecration of 37 graves in the Muslim section of Strasbourg cemetery on 24 September. Sadly, this despicable act is not the only one of its kind. Four Jewish or Muslim cemeteries have been vandalised this year in the greater...

The prohibition of torture is absolute and no exceptions allowed, ever

Strasbourg, 30/10/10 – "Despite a clear and absolute ban of torture in international and national laws, detainees are exposed or subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment in many European states. A solid underpinning of this legal requirement is now needed more than ever", said...

European Muslims are stigmatised by populist rhetoric

[28/10/10 10:00] " European countries appear to face another crisis beyond budget deficits � the disintegration of human values. One symptom is the increasing expression of intolerance towards Muslims", says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in his...

Freedom to demonstrate is a human right � even when the message is critical

 [26/10/10 10:30] �Sunday 31 October will be a test for the effectiveness in practice of the right to peaceful assembly, which is enshrined in Article 31 of the Russian Constitution� says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in his latest Human Rights...

Inhuman treatment of persons with disabilities in institutions

[21/10/10 12:30] The prosecutor general in Bulgaria has initiated criminal investigations into 166 deaths and 30 more cases of abuse of children living in state homes for young people with mental disabilities. This was an important signal not only for the Bulgarian authorities but for...

Human rights of Roma migrants in Europe

Strasbourg, 18/10/10 – What are the root causes of Roma migration in today's Europe? What are the human rights of Roma when they move from one country to another? What should receiving countries do to ensure that the human rights of Roma migrants are fully respected? The study ...

“Romania needs to put an end to anti-Gypsyism” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 15/10/10 – "Without resolute action to stamp out anti-Gypsyism, it will not be possible to help many Romanian Roma out of social exclusion and marginalisation." After a three-day visit to Romania focused on the human rights of Roma, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human...

Airlines are not immigration authorities

[12/10/10 10:30] �European states seek to reduce immigration through improper threats of sanctions against airlines and other transport companies. They pass heavy responsibility on to the carriers in order to limit access to their territories", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for...

Georgia: “Further improvements needed to ensure human rights and humanitarian protection”

Report on visits to Georgia Strasbourg 07/10/2010 "All sides should ensure a faster improvement of the human rights situation in the areas affected by the August 2008 conflict" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing...

Roma in Europe: It is high time for states to move from words to action and eliminate systemic discrimination

Strasbourg, 30/09/10 – "Roma and Travellers continue to be subject to racism and pervasive discrimination across all social sectors in many European countries. It is high time to act to reverse this situation" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, at...

August 2008 armed conflict in Georgia: serious shortcomings in clarifying the fate of missing persons

Report on monitoring of investigations of missing persons Strasbourg 29/09/2010 "Regrettably, there have been serious shortcomings in the process of clarifying the fate of missing persons and ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of illegal acts". With these...

The public has the right to know what those they elected are doing

[27/09/10 12:30] The Voters have the right to know about the decisions taken by the politicians and administrations they have elected. The need for such transparency is recognised in principle in several European countries, but is not yet a reality throughout large parts of the continent....

The �Dublin Regulation� undermines refugee rights

[22/09/10 09:30] The asylum procedures of European countries are still flawed � they need to be improved and better harmonised. One of the necessary reforms is to overhaul the dysfunctional so-called Dublin Regulation within the European Union. Under the Dublin system, the responsibility for...

Rights of migrants in France: Commissioner Hammarberg calls on the authorities to comply fully with European standards

Strasbourg, 21/09/10 – "Improvements need to be made to uphold migrants' rights in France", said the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, today as he published a letter sent to the French Minister for Immigration, Integration, National Identity and...

Do not stigmatise Roma

[15/09/10 10:30] Repatriation of Roma EU citizens is now common in several European countries. France�s crackdown on crime has specifically targeted Roma from Romania and Bulgaria. And France is not alone. Italy, for instance, has arrested and deported a considerable number of Romanian Roma...
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