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Letter

Commissioner Muižnieks urges Italian Parliament to adopt a law on torture which is fully compliant with international human rights standards

21/06/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Italian Parliament published today, Commissioner Muižnieks welcomes the efforts that are being made to incorporate the crime of torture into the Italian Criminal Code, but urges the Chamber of Deputies to improve the current Bill in order to make it fully compliant...

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Issue Paper

European countries must lift obstacles to reunification of refugee families

19/06/2017 Strasbourg

“The right to family reunification is a fundamental part of the right to family life, which is protected by international human rights law. This right is particularly important for refugees in Europe. Because of the dangers they face at home, their only option to enjoy their right to family life...

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Country visit

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Greater efforts needed to enhance social cohesion and media freedom

16/06/2017 Sarajevo/Banja Luka

“Deeply ingrained ethnic divisions and lack of a common vision of reconciliation and development still hamper the construction of a tolerant and cohesive society in Bosnia and Herzegovina more than 20 years after the war. The country has not yet managed to overcome its violent past and a number...

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Country visit

Switzerland: Commissioner welcomes progress on asylum, but the most vulnerable need better protection

30/05/2017 Strasbourg

“I call on the Swiss authorities to stop detaining migrant children arriving at Swiss international airports. Children, with or without their families, do not belong in detention” said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after a three-day visit (22-24 May)...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on Ukrainian authorities to revise the anti-corruption legislation that might negatively affect NGOs and journalists

24/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine published today, the Commissioner recommends removing the recently-enacted provisions in the legislation on corruption prevention requiring civil society representatives or other persons working on...

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Statement

Commissioner concerned about sentencing of Human Rights Defender Murat Çelikkan in Turkey

18/05/2017 Strasbourg

I am dismayed at the sentencing of Murat Çelikkan on 15 May to 18 months in prison on terrorist propaganda charges for acting as a symbolic co-editor of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem. A prominent Turkish human rights defender, Murat Çelikkan has made invaluable contributions to my Office and...

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IDAHOT

On IDAHOT 2017, Commissioner calls for equal rights for LGBT families

17/05/2017 Strasbourg

The theme of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is “Families”. On this occasion, Commissioner Muižnieks gave an interview in which he calls upon all member states of the Council of Europe to provide legal recognition for same-sex partnerships “as a matter...

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Statement

Azerbaijan should release all persons detained because of their views expressed or legitimate civic activity

17/05/2017 Strasbourg

Today marks the four-year anniversary of the arrest of Ilkin Rustamzade, a blogger and youth activist, imprisoned in Azerbaijan since 17 May 2013. He was arrested on charges of hooliganism, due to his alleged involvement in a ‘Harlem Shake’ video filmed in Baku. Concerns regarding his health...

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Joint statement

Embrace diversity and protect trans and gender diverse children and adolescents

16/05/2017 Geneva / Banjul / Strasbourg / Washington

Speaking ahead of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts* urge States and other stakeholders to protect trans and gender diverse** children and adolescents effectively from discrimination,...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on Italy not to weaken the protection of children’s rights in the justice system

16/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the President of the Italian Senate published today, the Commissioner expresses concerns about the bill on the efficiency of civil judicial proceedings. The planned transfer of juvenile justice competencies from specialised to ordinary courts and prosecution services...

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Letter

Romania should improve the protection of persons with disabilities

15/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Romania published today, Commissioner Muižnieks urges the authorities to increase protection of persons with disabilities. The Commissioner calls for a thorough investigation of allegations concerning serious human rights violations, such as...

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Statement

Governments should better protect the right to family life of refugees and persons with a subsidiary protection status

12/05/2017 Strasbourg

Families have the right to live together. Regrettably, this principle is not the reality for many refugees in Europe who face restrictive family reunification policies. As many European countries celebrate Mother’s Day today, we should not forget all refugee mothers who remain separated from...

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Statement

The Commissioner urges the Czech authorities to create the necessary conditions to build a monument on the former Nazi concentration camp for Roma in Lety u Pisku

12/05/2017 Strasbourg

I am concerned about the persistent obstacles to removing the pig farm from the site of the former Nazi concentration camp for Roma in Lety u Pisku. The annual commemoration ceremony to honour the victims who suffered or died in this camp will take place on 13 May. I have repeatedly urged the...

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Third party intervention

The Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a group of cases concerning anti-terrorism operations in South-Eastern Turkey

05/05/2017 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published his written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights concerning a group of 34 cases related to events which have occurred since August 2015 in the context of counter-terrorism operations and curfews in South-Eastern Turkey. Based on two visits...

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Letter

Commissioner concerned about ill-treatment by law enforcement officials in Greece

04/05/2017 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter he addressed to the Greek government expressing concern about new reports of ill-treatment by Greek police officers. He stresses that these are well-documented and very serious cases illustrating the long-standing and systemic problem of excessive use of...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on Hungary’s National Assembly to reject law on foreign-funded NGOs

03/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, Mr László Kövér, published today, Commissioner Muižnieks urges the members of this Assembly to reject a proposed draft law on the Transparency of Organisations Supported from Abroad. The Commissioner notes that the draft...

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Human Rights Comment

Public service broadcasting under threat in Europe

02/05/2017 Strasbourg

Well-funded and strong public service media are a good indicator that a democracy is healthy – this is the result of a study published last year by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The report notably found that countries that have popular, well-funded public service broadcasters encounter...

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Annual activity report

A critical turning point, not business as usual, for human rights in Europe

26/04/2017 Strasbourg

“2016 will likely be remembered as a critical turning point for human rights in Europe” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks today while presenting his annual activity report for 2016. “We will either see it as a low point from which European countries,...

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Country visit report

Lithuania should strengthen the protection of women and children against violence and build a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities

19/04/2017 Strasbourg

“While considerable progress has been achieved in protecting human rights in recent years, the Lithuanian authorities still have to address some remaining shortcomings, in particular as regards the protection of women, children and persons with disabilities” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

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Letter

Commissioner encourages Croatia to accelerate the process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention

18/04/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia published today, Commissioner Muižnieks strongly encourages the authorities to move quickly forward on their path towards the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic...

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