Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the cases of Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli

01/04/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner made public two written contributions sent to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the cases of human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli. Following the amicus curiae submissions on the cases of Hilal Mammadov and Intigam Aliyev, today's interventions further illustrate the serious and systemic human rights problems faced in Azerbaijan by...

The Commissioner is concerned about the new anti-terrorism measures

23/03/2015 Strasbourg
I am concerned about the strictly security-based approach characterising both discussions about stepping up the fight against terrorism and the relevant legislation. The blocking of Internet sites without prior judicial authorisation which recently started in France is a clear example of the risks that such measures represent for human rights, and particularly for freedom of expression and the...
Visit to Serbia

Serbia urged to safeguard the human rights of persons with disabilities and displaced Roma

20/03/2015 Belgrade
«Serbia needs to take immediate steps to address serious issues relating to the right to legal capacity of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and their de-institutionalisation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by which Serbia is bound» said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of his visit to...
Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Intigam Aliyev

18/03/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner made public his written contribution sent to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of human rights defender and lawyer Intigam Aliyev. The Commissioner underscores that the present case is an illustration of a serious and systemic human rights problem in Azerbaijan, where critical voices are often subject to reprisals and judicially harassed. Today’s...

Spain : Commissioner concerned about adoption of amendment to the Aliens Act

13/03/2015 Strasbourg
Yesterday’s adoption by the Senate of the amendment to Spain’s Aliens Act falls short of providing clear guarantees against refoulement and collective expulsions, and of establishing adequate safeguards for the right of every person to seek and enjoy asylum, irrespective of the way they reach Spanish territory, said today Commissioner Muižnieks. This new legal context has the potential to open...
Visit report

Armenia should intensify its efforts to ensure gender equality and protect human rights in the justice system

10/03/2015 Strasbourg
Read the report “Gender inequality and violence against women are serious human rights concerns in Armenia. More vigorous efforts are needed to address them,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing the report of his visit to Armenia from 5 to 9 October 2014. The adoption of gender-related action plans and the 2013 Law on Equal Rights and Equal...
International Women's Day

Fulfilling women’s rights

05/03/2015 Strasbourg
On the occasion of the International Women’s day, the Commissioner calls on European governments to make gender equality and the fulfilment of women’s rights a reality. “Progress has been made in recent decades in a number of areas, in particular in establishing legislation and mechanisms prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sex. Ambitious goals, including for the equal participation of...
Third party interventions

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes in cases concerning Azerbaijan before the European Court of Human Rights

24/02/2015 Strasbourg
Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Hilal Mammadov against Azerbaijan, in which he stresses the systematic deficiencies in the area of freedom of expression, including judicial harassment of critical voices, and a pattern of retaliatory measures against those who...
Visit report

France: persistent discrimination endangers human rights

17/02/2015 Strasbourg
Read the report “Despite advances in legislation and measures to combat intolerance and racism, discrimination and hate speech not only persist in France but are on the rise. There is an urgent need to combat this in a sustained and systematic manner,” Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said today, publishing the report on his visit to France from 22 to 26...
Human Rights Comment

Syrian refugees: ‘Reset’ needed in Europe’s approach

03/02/2015 Strasbourg
Just over a year ago, I decided to follow the steps of Syrian refugees in Europe, to better understand what they were going through. At that time, I was worried that most European governments were reacting with indifference to the biggest refugee crisis facing our continent in over two decades. There were reports of Syrian refugees being pushed back, while others, having arrived in Europe,...
Statement on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Europe still needs to draw lessons from the Holocaust

26/01/2015 Strasbourg
70 years ago the Auschwitz death camp was liberated. What the world’s peoples saw shocked their conscience and made them realise man’s possible barbarity. The Holocaust resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish population as well as of numerous persons belonging to other minority groups. Many vowed 'Never again'. However genocides reoccurred in Europe and in other parts of the globe....
Visit to Norway

Recognise legal capacity of all people with disabilities

23/01/2015 Oslo
"Norway should recognise the legal capacity of all people with disabilities, including persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities” - said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after a visit to Norway (19-23 January 2015). "As a first step, the authorities should collect data on the extent of depriving legal capacity under current legislation in view...
Visit to Spain

Spain: Legislation and practice on immigration and asylum must adhere to human rights standards

16/01/2015 Madrid
“The proposed amendments to the Aliens Act aimed at legalising push-backs of migrants arriving in Ceuta and Melilla currently discussed in Spain are in clear breach of human rights law. The Spanish authorities should reconsider them and ensure that any future legislation fully abides by Spain's international obligations, which include ensuring full access to an effective asylum procedure,...
Opinion editorial

Eastern Ukraine: the humanity behind the headlines

18/12/2014 Strasbourg
The government in Kyiv, aid organisations and the international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting in the east.
Report on visit to Hungary

Hungary: progress needed on media freedom, anti-discrimination measures and migrants’ rights

16/12/2014 Strasbourg
Read the report “Hungary should better ensure media freedom, combat widespread intolerance and discrimination, and improve the protection of the human rights of migrants” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a report based on the findings of his July visit to Hungary. While welcoming improvements to Hungary’s media legislation introduced...

Commissioner concerned about arrest of journalists in Turkey

15/12/2014 Strasbourg
I am following with deep concern the events unfolding in Turkey. The arrest yesterday of journalists and media workers is a serious setback for media freedom in the country. Irrespective of the reasons which may have motivated them, such measures are disproportionate and unnecessary in a democracy. They are as worrying as the waves of arrests of journalists in 2011 which were condemned by my...
International Human Rights Day

Roma inclusion is mission possible

10/12/2014 Strasbourg
“In my two-and-a-half years in office, I have encountered one serious human rights problem in practically every member state - the prolonged exclusion and discrimination of the Roma population. This holds true whether the country is rich or poor, lies within or outside the European Union, and whether its Roma are indigenous or of migrant origin. This shameful situation cannot be further...
Publication of an Issue Paper

Do not switch human rights off

08/12/2014 Strasbourg
Issue Paper “The Internet and digital environment are not virtual worlds when it comes to human rights. Standards and principles that apply offline must also be upheld online” said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on the application of the rule of law to the Internet and the wider digital world. Addressing the pressing question of how...
Visit to Ukraine

Conflict in eastern Ukraine has dire impact on human rights

08/12/2014 Strasbourg
“The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has had devastating effects on the human rights of the population. The humanitarian situation is also extremely difficult and people continue to suffer greatly” stated today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, following a visit to Ukraine from 30 November to 5 December which included the capital Kyiv, as well as the eastern...
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