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News archive - November 2013 - Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Freedom of expression and democracy in the digital age - Opportunities, rights, responsibilities

[Belgrade, 7/11/2013 15:00]  – In his keynote speech at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society today, the Commissioner highlighted restrictions to media freedom on grounds of national security as particularly serious ones, following the recent disclosure of the US and UK mass surveillance programmes. “Spying on individuals on a massive scale, without strict legal rules and democratic oversight, can have adverse effects on freedom of expression by provoking a chilling effect on investigative journalists and activists who might fear exposing their sources." (more)

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November 2013

EU border control policies negatively affect human rights

[Strasbourg, 06/11/2013 9:30]  – "The EU externalisation of border control policies has a deleterious effect on human rights, in particular the right to leave a country, which is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other rights – most importantly, the right to seek asylum", said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a research paper on the right to leave a country. "The right to leave a country is enshrined in most major human rights instruments and is intended to ensure that people can move freely, without unjustified obstacles. However, today’s EU approach to border controls and immigration raises serious concerns as it leads to changes in the legislation and practice of third countries which may result in human rights violations, in particular regarding the right to leave a country, the prohibition on collective expulsion and the right to seek and enjoy asylum".  (more)