2011 News

Malta is urged to ensure effective protection of migrants

Strasbourg, 09/06/11 – "Many migrants in Malta face inadequate living conditions and have little chance of integrating durably in society" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing today his report on the visit to Malta he carried out from 23-25 March 2011. According to the Commissioner, Malta should establish a human-rights compliant...

Slovakia: “Segregation and anti-Gypsyism at the core of Roma exclusion”

Strasbourg, 20/12/11 – "Concrete action to counter anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma must be given priority by the authorities of Slovakia" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing today his report following a visit to Slovakia carried out from 26 to 27 September 2011, which focuses on the protection of the human rights of...

The increasing repression in Belarus is worrying

Strasbourg, 19/12/11 – One year has passed since the fraudulent presidential election in Belarus declared Lukashenka as the winner. What came after was an increasing and unacceptable repression, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in an article published by the weekly New Europe . Thousands of people took part in the protest demonstrations in Minsk in...

Media freedom under threat in Europe

London, 08/12/11 – Ahead of human rights day (10 December 2011), Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, launched the publication Human rights and a changing media landscape at a press conference in London, hosted by ARTICLE 19, on Thursday 8 December 2011. "The defence of all human rights depends on media freedom and pluralism. This makes it...

Public service media needed to strengthen pluralism

[06/12/11 09:30] Two major threats to media freedom exist across Europe today. One is the attempt by state authorities to dominate the media market. The other is the trend towards commercialisation and monopoly. Both these tendencies undermine freedom of expression – and are good reasons for strengthening public service media, says Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for...

Politically-motivated murders are not effectively investigated – this feeds a culture of impunity

[28/11/11 09:30] Assassinations of human rights defenders, investigative journalists, activist lawyers and critical opinion makers have not been seriously investigated in a number of critical cases. These flagrant examples have come to symbolise the phenomenon of impunity, which encourages further murders and has a chilling effect on public debate, says Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe...

Ukraine: The independence and efficiency of the judiciary must be protected as a matter of priority

Kyiv, 25/11/11 – "The protection of the right to a fair trial should be central to judicial reform efforts" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, at the end of a week-long visit to Ukraine. "In order to guarantee this fundamental human right to everyone, courts must be independent, impartial, and efficient." A large proportion of the judgments...

The right to leave one’s country should be applied without discrimination

[22/11/11 09:30] Strong measures have been taken by the Macedonian authorities to prevent citizens from travelling to EU countries - and seeking asylum there. The numbers doing so have gone up considerably since the EU agreed that people in Balkan countries would no longer require visas to enter EU territory. Governments within the EU have reacted and warned that the entire process of...

Ethical journalism: self-regulation protects the independence of media

[08/11/11 09:30] The media play an enormously important role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened, says Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human...

Only genuine justice can ensure durable peace in the Balkans

[03/11/11 10:00] European institutions failed to protect people in the former Yugoslavia from ethnic cleansing and other war atrocities in the 1990s. The return to normalcy has been slow and major obstacles still remain. However, there are now grounds for some hope – which gives Europe a second chance to offer constructive support, says Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner...
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