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Statement

Greece's Parliament should align the deportations and return bill with human rights standards

03/09/2021 Strasbourg

“The Greek parliament should reconsider a legislative proposal currently being discussed, which would seriously hinder the life-saving work carried out at sea by NGOs, and their human rights monitoring capacities in the Aegean”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja...

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Statement

Turkey: prolongation of detention of Osman Kavala displays contempt for human rights and the rule of law

02/09/2021 Strasbourg

Yesterday’s decision of the Istanbul 13th Assize Court to prolong the detention of Mr Osman Kavala perpetuates the violation of both his human rights and of Turkey’s obligation to abide by a final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Kavala has been in detention for 46 months...

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Letter

Germany should pursue efforts to fully ensure children’s rights

31/08/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to Christine Lambrecht, the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection and Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth of Germany, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges the German...

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Statement

In their response to Afghans seeking safety, Council of Europe member states should not undermine human rights protections

30/08/2021 Strasbourg

“Member states should unequivocally commit to handling the arrival of persons fleeing the horrendous situation in Afghanistan in accordance with their human rights obligations”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, today. “Various governments and local...

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EN RU

Statement

Poland should take immediate action to protect the human rights of people stranded at its border with Belarus

25/08/2021 Strasbourg

The dire humanitarian situation of a group of people stuck for many days at the Polish-Belarussian border is alarming. I understand that this situation is the result of attempts by Belarus to encourage people to cross borders, leaving them in a vulnerable position and creating challenges for the...

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Letter

Lithuania: safeguards in asylum procedures and preventing pushbacks should be central to response to migration challenges

24/08/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Lithuania published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, calls for the response to migration-related challenges to be fully compliant with the country’s human rights obligations, in particular by ensuring fair asylum...

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Statement

Commemoration of the Roma Holocaust: we should combat antigypsyism and discrimination against Roma at all times

02/08/2021 Strasbourg

Every year on 2 August, we commemorate the Roma Holocaust perpetrated during the Second World War and pay tribute to the victims of horrendous past human rights violations, including deportation and extermination. Now more than ever, we should all continue to confront the deeply rooted prejudices...

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Letter

Slovak Republic: the government should deliver justice to victims of forced sterilisation through a compensation mechanism

19/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic, published today, the Commissioner calls on the government to set up a mechanism to ensure prompt and effective access to reparations for victims of forced or coercive sterilisation. This is a long-standing...

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Letter

The Senate of the Czech Republic should adopt the draft law on compensation for victims of forced sterilisation

16/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Senate of the Czech Republic, published today, the Commissioner expresses her support for the adoption of the Proposal for a law for a one-off financial compensation for victims of unlawful sterilisation. In her letter, she follows up on her dialogue with the Czech Chamber of...

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Letter

United Kingdom: Parliamentarians should reject restrictions on peaceful demonstration, criminalisation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

05/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the UK House of Commons and House of Lords, published today, the Commissioner urged parliamentarians to reject restrictions on peaceful demonstrations contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. She also urges them to reject a new proposed criminal offence of...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes her observations on the repatriation of European nationals held in camps in North-East Syria

02/07/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights as a third-party in the cases of H.F. and M.F. v. France and J.D. and A.D. v. France on the fate of European nationals held in camps in North-East Syria. The Commissioner considers that...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities

28/06/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Clipea and Iapara v. the Republic of Moldova, which relates to alleged human rights violations committed in connection with the applicants’ stay in a psychiatric...

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Letter

Turkish authorities should stop the stigmatisation of LGBTI people

24/06/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice of Turkey, published today, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to fulfil the commitments enshrined in the national Action Plan on Human Rights, stop the stigmatisation of LGBTI people, and uphold their freedoms...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner Mijatović urges Hungary’s Parliamentarians to reject draft amendments banning discussion about sexual and gender identity and diversity

14/06/2021 Strasbourg

“I call on all Hungarian Members of Parliament to reject the proposal to ban the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality" aimed at children, said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights today. “I...

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EN RU

Speech

Artificial Intelligence – Intelligent Politics. Challenges and opportunities for media and democracy

10/06/2021 Strasbourg

On-line keynote speech at the Council of Europe Conference, of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society. Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure to be with you today, even if only remotely. We would all have preferred to meet in person in Cyprus as originally...

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Statement

Coming to terms with the past and delivering justice is the only way to achieve reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia

08/06/2021 Strasbourg

”I sincerely hope that the confirmation on appeal of Ratko Mladić’s guilty verdict brings the relief of justice done to the many victims who suffered atrocities and lost loved ones in Srebrenica, Sarajevo, and other municipalities during the war in the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia”, said today...

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Country Memorandum

Slovenian authorities should halt the deterioration of freedom of expression and media freedom

04/06/2021 Strasbourg

In a Memorandum published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, calls on the Slovenian authorities to put a stop to the marked deterioration of freedom of expression and of the media in the country. The Commissioner warns that some steps taken by the...

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Speech

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov

24/05/2021 Strasbourg

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov - Plenary session Peace, progress and human rights are about choosing the right side. When you decide to defend and promote them, you choose to take the side of those who seek freedom. You...

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Event

Alarm and Hope. 21st century International Conference

20/05/2021 Strasbourg

online conference dedicated to the centenary of Andrei Sakharov

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EN RU

Speech

Exchange of views with the European Committee of Social Rights

17/05/2021 Strasbourg

Good afternoon to you all and thank you very much for the invitation to this exchange of views! This is the first time that we meet, and the timing is certainly good. Even though there are signs of relief now, at least in Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic has been much more than just a health crisis:...

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Joint statement

The right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to live free from violence and discrimina-tion based on SOGI are both built on a promise of human freedom LGBT persons deserve that promise fulfilled

14/05/2021 Geneva/Washington D.C./Strasbourg

Statement by human rights experts on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia On the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), which will be held on 17 May 2021, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts*...

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Letter

Greek authorities should investigate allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment of migrants, ensure an enabling environment for NGOs and improve reception conditions

12/05/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister for Citizens’ Protection, the Minister of Migration and Asylum, and the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy of Greece, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges the Greek authorities to put an end to...

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EN RU

Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights impact of climate change

11/05/2021 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Cláudia Duarte Agostinho and others v. Portugal and 32 other States which relates to the negative impact of climate change on a range of human rights, in particular those of...

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Letter

Azerbaijan: efforts to deal with the past should become the priority to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace

27/04/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the President of Azerbaijan, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges to take utmost care not to perpetuate and multiply the already deeply-running grievances between the communities affected by the conflict in and around...

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Annual activity report

A renewed impetus is needed to narrow the gap between human rights standards and reality

21/04/2021 Strasbourg

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the erosion of the democratic fabric of our society on which the protection of human rights ultimately depends”, warned Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, while presenting today her annual activity report covering 2020 before...

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Letter

Romania: the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council should be an opportunity to strengthen the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

14/04/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the President of the Senate of Romania and the Chairperson of its Human Rights Committee, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights invites the Senate to use the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council to strengthen the...

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EN RU

Speech

Exchange of views with the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

31/03/2021 Strasbourg

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is pleasure and honour for me to meet with you today. There is much to share, and I look forward to discussing how we can complement and reinforce each other’s work for increased impact. Our meeting takes place in special circumstances, which affect people across Europe...

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Report

Environmental Rights Activism and Advocacy in Europe: Issues, Threats, Opportunities

31/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Environmental protection is a critical pillar in ensuring that everyone in Europe can fully enjoy human rights,” the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, said today upon the release of a report on a round-table with environmental human rights defenders from across...

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Country Memorandum

It is high time for Hungary to restore journalistic and media freedoms

30/03/2021 Strasbourg

“The combined effects of a politically controlled media regulatory authority and distortionary state intervention in the media market have eroded media pluralism and freedom of expression in Hungary”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a Memorandum...

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Country Memorandum

Portugal should act more resolutely to tackle racism and continue efforts to combat violence against women

24/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a memorandum published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, called on the authorities of Portugal to address more resolutely the increasing level of racism in the country, as well as to take additional steps to prevent and combat violence against women...

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Statement

Turkey’s announced withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention endangers women’s rights

22/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Turkey’s Presidential Decree published on 20 March announcing the withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is an ill-advised decision. It undermines women’s rights and sends the wrong signal to all women in Turkey...

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Letter

Spanish authorities should amend the Criminal Code to strengthen existing safeguards of the right to freedom of expression

22/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice of Spain, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović invites the Spanish authorities to amend in a comprehensive manner the Criminal Code to strengthen existing safeguards of the right to freedom of...

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Report

European countries should lift the taboo on Afrophobia and start addressing this phenomenon

19/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Racism and racial discrimination against people of African descent remain a widespread yet unacknowledged problem in Europe. It is time to recognise it and take measures to combat Afrophobia more effectively”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović,...

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Statement

Human rights abuses in Chechnya should be investigated, not covered up

18/03/2021 Strasbourg

“The shocking testimonies revealed by Novaya Gazeta about extrajudicial executions and other grave human rights violations committed in Chechnya over the last years warrant an immediate, impartial, and independent investigation by the Russian federal investigative authorities into such...

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Letter

Cypriot authorities should investigate allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment of migrants, improve reception conditions, and ensure an enabling environment for NGOs

18/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of Cyprus, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović urges the Cypriot authorities to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out into allegations of pushbacks and of...

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Speech

PACE Hearing on deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities

16/03/2021 Strasbourg

Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Parliamentary Assembly "About two years ago, I had the privilege of addressing the Parliamentary Assembly on the issue of ending coercion in psychiatry and witnessed the unanimous adoption of its Resolution on this question. This...

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Letter

Poland: draft laws on the media sector should respect European human rights standards on freedom of expression, media pluralism and data protection

16/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Poland, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović urges the government to ensure that two draft laws concerning an ‘advertising revenue tax on media outlets’ and ‘protection of freedom of speech of social media...

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Letter

Turkey: authorities should refrain from further restricting NGOs activities and freedom of association in the name of counter-terrorism

10/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice of Turkey, made public today, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to refrain from further implementing the Law on Preventing Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, pending the outcome of the...

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Follow-up report

European countries must urgently change their migration policies which endanger refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean

09/03/2021 Strasbourg

“European countries are failing to protect refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Backsliding in the protection of the lives and rights of refugees and migrants is worsening and causing thousands of avoidable deaths each year”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council...

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Issue Paper

States must act now on their duty to ensure the best attainable standard of physical and mental health for all

19/02/2021 Strasbourg

"For one year now, countries around the world have been battling with the catastrophic consequences of COVID-19. As governments are making mass vaccination their top priority, they should act now to rebuild inclusive health care systems," said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe...

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Letter

The Commissioner urges the Russian authorities to halt the practice of arresting peaceful demonstrators and to align policing of demonstrations with human rights standards

11/02/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic published a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, in which she highlights a number of human rights concerns related to the policing of demonstrations that had taken place in many...

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EN RU

Statement

Navalny judgment contravenes Russia’s international human rights obligations

02/02/2021 Strasbourg

“Today’s judgment ordering Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment in a correctional colony for three and a half years defies all credibility and contravenes Russia’s international human rights obligations”, said the Commissioner. “Mr Navalny should not have been arrested and tried in the first place...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Russian Federation: freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly must be respected

01/02/2021 Strasbourg

"The detention of more than 5,000 demonstrators and of dozens of journalists during the large-scale protests that had remained predominantly peaceful, and the subsequent arrests of some of them based on hasty judicial proceedings fly in the face of Russia’s obligations to uphold freedom of...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Guarding the truth about the Holocaust intact

27/01/2021 Strasbourg

“This year, we mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in unusual circumstances. While we are confronted with one of the biggest crises of our century, we must not let our attention waver and allow the memory of Holocaust victims to be misused or insulted”, said today the Council of...

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Statement

Russian authorities should release Alexey Navalny and guarantee freedoms of expression and of assembly

21/01/2021 Strasbourg

“The hasty arrest, judicial hearing and detention of Alexey Navalny cast serious doubts on the respect of the rule of law”, said today the Commissioner. “These proceedings appear to defy credibility and contradict Russia’s own law and judicial procedures, as well as international human rights...

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Speech

Human Rights in the Era of AI Europe as international Standard Setter for Artificial Intelligence

20/01/2021 Strasbourg

Dear Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, Ensuring that technological development works for and not against human rights, democracy and the rule of law is one of the biggest tasks that states face. Early on in my mandate I warned about the human rights implications of new technology, including AI...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on summary returns of migrants from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina

11/01/2021 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the cases of three Syrian applicants summarily returned from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Commissioner stresses that all the information available points to the existence of an...

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Letter

The French Senate should amend the General Security Bill to make it compatible with human rights

18/12/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Chair and members of the Law Committee of the French Senate, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges the senators to make substantial amendments to the General Security Bill to make it more human rights-compliant. The Commissioner invites the...

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Statement

Albanian authorities must prevent further police violence and uphold the right to freedom of peaceful assembly

16/12/2020 Strasbourg

The Albanian authorities must show restraint in policing demonstrations and ensure thorough, independent and effective investigations into all allegations of excessive use of force,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović in a statement today, expressing concern...

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Letter

Bosnia and Herzegovina must urgently improve its migrant reception capacities, improve access to asylum and protect unaccompanied migrant children

11/12/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter published today, the Commissioner calls on the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to address the persistent shortcomings in their handling of migrants and asylum seekers. The letter was addressed to Mr Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina,...

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