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Letter

The Commissioner calls on the Polish Senate to reject bill which further curtails judges' and prosecutors' independence and freedom of expression

13/01/2020 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today a letter addressed to the Marshal of the Senate of Poland in which she recommends rejecting the bill adopted by the Sejm on 20 December 2019. The Commissioner considers that the bill has far-reaching negative implications for the work of the judiciary in Poland,...

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Statement

Commissioner urges Albania’s Parliament to review bills which restrict freedom of expression

17/12/2019 Strasbourg

“ I am deeply concerned to learn that this week the Albanian Parliament pursued the examination of two draft laws, known as the 'Anti-Defamation Package' ", said today the Commissioner in a statement. “These laws are in need of urgent improvement. Several provisions are indeed not compatible with...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner Mijatovic welcomes the closure of the “Vučjak” migrant camp in Bosnia Herzegovina

11/12/2019 Strasbourg

I welcome the closure of the improvised camp “Vučjak” near Bihać where migrants and asylum seekers had been languishing for months in absolutely dire conditions. This much-needed closure was made possible thanks to co-operation between the state and the Una-Sana and the Sarajevo canton...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Commissioner Mijatović urges the Azerbaijani authorities to respect freedom of expression, improve access to lawyers and uphold the rights of internally displaced persons

11/12/2019 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today the report on her visit to Azerbaijan, with recommendations on how to ensure freedom of expression, increase the number of lawyers and the quality of legal assistance in the country, and empower internally...

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Country visit

Bosnia and Herzegovina must immediately close the Vučjak camp and take concrete measures to improve the treatment of migrants in the country

06/12/2019 Sarajevo

“The living conditions of hundreds of human beings in the improvised Vučjak camp are shameful. That camp should have never been opened in the first place. It is now urgent to relocate these people and provide them with decent accommodations. I was assured by the State Minister of Security that...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner seeks information from the Greek government on its plans to set-up closed reception centres on the Aegean islands

03/12/2019 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published an exchange of letters with the Minister of Citizen Protection of Greece, Michalis Chrysochoidis, and the Alternate Minister for Migration Policy of Greece, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, concerning the plans to transfer migrants from the Aegean islands to the mainland and...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Bulgaria should counter harmful narratives endangering human rights and step up efforts to fight hate speech and domestic violence

02/12/2019 Strasbourg

“The government should step up its efforts to fight the hate speech prevailing today in Bulgaria in particular against Roma, LGBTI people and other minority groups” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, today after a 5-day visit to the country. Hate speech and...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner urges the Maltese government to ensure the independence of the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

29/11/2019 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today an exchange of letters with the Maltese government concerning the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. In the letter to the Prime Minister sent on 26 November, the Commissioner expressed concerns regarding alleged political...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner encourages the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt measures to move forward on deinstitutionalisation of children with disabilities

29/11/2019 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today a letter she addressed to the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Mirsad Zaimović,.The Commissioner calls on the Parliament to use an upcoming debate on the situation in several public...

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EN FR RU

Statement

The Commissioner urges the Hungarian Parliament to modify a bill affecting the independence of the judiciary

28/11/2019 Strasbourg

The Hungarian Parliament is currently examining Bill T/8016 which would introduce changes to the Act on the Constitutional Court, Act on the Organisation and Administration of Courts and Act on the Legal Status and Remuneration of Judges, among a wide range of other pieces of legislation. The...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner calls on Slovak parliament to reject retrogressive measures on access to safe and legal abortion care

26/11/2019 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published a letter sent to the National Council of the Slovak Republic today, in which she calls on the National Council of the Slovak Republic to reject a legislative proposal which would restrict existing access to safe and legal abortion care. The tabled proposal would...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on internet blocking in Turkey

25/11/2019 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Wikimedia Foundation, INC. v. Turkey, which relates to the blocking of a free, multi-lingual, collaborative online encyclopedia hosted by the applicant, a non-profit...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Speak up against sexist hate speech

22/11/2019 Strasbourg

“Sexist hate speech is a long-standing problem in Europe which has acquired a new dimension in recent years with the rising popularity of social media platforms. Threats of murder, sexual assault or rape occur daily offline and online. To prevent and combat gender-based violence against women...

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EN FR RU

Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on alleged human rights violations of migrants returned from Italy to Libya

22/11/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of S.S. and others v. Italy. This case concerns the interception and rescue operation of a boat in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, carrying around 150 persons...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on the State Duma of the Russian Federation to refrain from adopting the new bill on foreign agents

21/11/2019 Strasbourg

I call on the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to refrain from adopting the draft law currently under examination that would significantly extend the definition and scope of a “foreign agent”. Such a law would allow the authorities to designate as a “foreign agent” any...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner urges authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate abuses in the Pazaric institution for children with disabilities

20/11/2019 Strasbourg

The revelations of abuse in the Pazarić institution for children and youth with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities are profoundly shocking. I call upon the authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to initiate, as a matter of urgency, an effective investigation into the...

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EN RU

Statement

Realising children’s rights is not an option, it’s an obligation

20/11/2019 Strasbourg

We celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child today. Children finally became full bearers of human rights under international law thanks to this landmark Convention, the most widely ratified international treaty in the world. Countries have made substantial...

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EN RU

Speech

Governing the digital world to protect democracy and security

08/11/2019 Vienna

Thirty years ago, tomorrow, crowds of East Germans crossed the border peacefully and climbed on the Berlin Wall together with West Germans. That symbolic moment, which catalysed months of civil unrest in Eastern Europe, told the world that a new era had just started. Over the past thirty years,...

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EN RU

Speech

Ceremony for the 30th Anniversary of the European Committee for the prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

04/11/2019 Strasbourg

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased and honoured to address you today, at this ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. On this round anniversary of the CPT, I would like to pay tribute to those who were at the origins of the idea to have...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Greece must urgently transfer asylum seekers from the Aegean islands and improve living conditions in reception facilities

31/10/2019 Athens

“The situation of migrants, including asylum seekers, in the Greek Aegean islands has dramatically worsened over the past 12 months. Urgent measures are needed to address the desperate conditions in which thousands of human beings are living,” said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for...

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EN RU

Speech

Keynote speech at ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2019

25/10/2019 Prague

Dear friends, I must start with paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York city, which you celebrate this year. 50 years ago, those who had grown tired of hiding stood up against oppression. There have been considerable gains since then in securing the rights of...

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EN RU

Statement

Protection of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly during last week's demonstrations in Catalonia

21/10/2019 Strasbourg

I am concerned at numerous reports of attacks against journalists covering demonstrations in Catalonia last week. The Council of Europe Platform for the safety of journalists has recorded 37 such instances. While some of these attacks have been carried out by demonstrators, several accredited...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner raises concerns about police conduct and people’s right to peaceful protest in Azerbaijan

21/10/2019 Strasbourg

The events that took place during the week-end in Baku, where unsanctioned rallies were brutally dispersed by the police, raise grave concerns about police conduct and people’s right to peaceful protest in Azerbaijan. On 19 October, attempts by the opposition to rally in the city centre were met...

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EN RU

Statement

Latvia takes important step toward eliminating child statelessness

18/10/2019 Strasbourg

“I welcome the Latvian Parliament taking a decisive step toward eliminating child statelessness with the adoption of a law to grant automatic citizenship to children of “non-citizens” as of 1st January 2020, unless the parents opt for another nationality. This measure represents significant...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for urgent relocation of migrants from Vučjak in Bosnia and Herzegovina

17/10/2019 Strasbourg

“I am following with great concern the developments in the city of Bihać in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the authorities are continuing to place migrants in the already overpopulated improvised camp in Vučjak. The living conditions in this camp, which is close to land-minded areas, are already...

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EN RU

Statement

Malta must establish accountability for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

16/10/2019 Geneva, Strasbourg and Vienna

“The Government of Malta remains far behind in its obligation to ensure that investigations in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are conducted in a prompt, effective, independent and impartial manner,” said today in a joint statement Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human...

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EN RU

Statement

The Commissioner urges the authorities of the Russian Federation to discontinue the liquidation proceedings against the All-Russia Movement for Human Rights

16/10/2019 Strasbourg

“It has come to my attention that a judicial action to dissolve the non-governmental organisation “All-Russia Movement for Human Rights” has been initiated by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. This NGO, which is led by the well-known human rights defender Lev Ponomarev, has been...

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EN RU

Speech

Justice in Europe facing the challenges of digital technology

15/10/2019 Strasbourg

"Humans and machines are living in an ever-closer relationship. One that provides great opportunities but also threats. Indeed, technology is never neutral. It is very personal because it carries ethical, political and legal implications. No doubt criminal justice systems can benefit greatly from...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner Mijatović calls for bolder measures to protect the human rights and dignity of all migrants in the Mediterranean

07/10/2019 Strasbourg

“The Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of EU member states meeting today and tomorrow in Luxembourg should not miss the chance to steer migration policy on to a more humane and human rights compliant path,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. “I welcome...

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EN RU

Speech

Commissioner calls for action to counter hostility against journalists

03/10/2019 Strasbourg

In a message sent to the 1st Regional journalists’ days meeting held in Sarajevo today, the Commissioner said: "Dear friends, just a few days ago, some journalists of Radio Sarajevo have been attacked. Prior to that, they had received death threats. This is only the latest of many attacks against...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Step up action against statelessness

03/10/2019 Strasbourg

Statelessness is the root cause of countless human rights violations. Unfortunately, it is still widespread in Europe today as at least 600 000 people do not have a nationality or identity documents that make it possible to enjoy the benefits of a nationality. Having no nationality means you have...

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EN RU

Speech

What have we achieved, where are the lacunae, and which good practices can we highlight?

26/09/2019 Paris

Twenty-five years ago, today, Sarajevo, my hometown was about to suffer its 905th day of siege that lasted 1425 days, the longest of a capital city in the history of modern warfare…. A town that only 10 years earlier had hosted the Olympic games and had been portrayed as a model of peaceful...

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Speech

From hostility to reconnection: how to make human rights relevant for all

20/09/2019 Utrecht

Peter Baehr Lecture, Utrecht University A big problem with human rights is that people often take them for granted. If you are wondering how I know this, it is because I was one of those persons. I was born in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and until 1992 I barely understood the importance...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner calls on Maltese authorities to withdraw posthumous defamation lawsuits against the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia

19/09/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, in which she recommends withdrawing the pending posthumous suits against the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia. “Some 30 civil defamation claims continue,” writes the Commissioner, stressing that...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure that the Pride March in Sarajevo takes place in a safe and peaceful manner

06/09/2019 Strasbourg

As the first Bosnian-Herzegovinian Pride March in Sarajevo is set to take place next Sunday, 8 September, I would like to recall that LGBTI people are an integral part of our societies and as such they must be able to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of assembly and...

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EN RU

Letter

Russian Federation: failure to respect human rights while policing peaceful protests

05/08/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, regarding the action taken by law enforcement agencies to disperse the largely peaceful protests in Moscow on 27 July 2019, and...

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Opinion article

Drawing the right lessons from the Roma Holocaust

01/08/2019 Strasbourg

OpenDemocracy, 01/08/2019 On 2 August, we will commemorate the Roma Holocaust perpetrated during the Second World War. It is an important occasion to draw renewed attention to this largely ignored page of Europe’s recent history. And it remains equally crucial to confront the deeply-rooted...

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EN RU

Letter

Letter to Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation

19/07/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published a letter sent to Tatiana Moskalkova, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, about new developments of concern relating to the case of Svetlana Prokopyeva, a freelance journalist. Read the letter sent to Tatiana Moskalkova, High...

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EN RU

Statement

The Commissioner calls on Russian authorities to establish the truth about the murder of Natalia Estemirova

15/07/2019 Strasbourg

“Ten years ago today in Grozny, Chechnya, unknown men abducted Natalia Estemirova in front of her apartment building, forcing her into a car. Some hours later, her lifeless body, displaying several gunshot wounds, was found in the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia. Natalia was a courageous and...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Azerbaijan should ease the pressure on free speech, improve the situation of lawyers and continue to work towards better livelihood opportunities for IDPs

12/07/2019 Azerbaijan

“Freedom of expression in Azerbaijan continues to be under threat” said Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a four-day visit to Azerbaijan. Recalling the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments stressing a troubling pattern of arbitrary arrest and...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Turkey needs to put an end to arbitrariness in the judiciary and to protect human rights defenders

08/07/2019 Strasbourg

“Turkey must take urgent and necessary measures to re-establish trust in its judiciary and repair the damage inflicted on the rule of law during the state of emergency and its aftermath”, said Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a five-day visit to...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Poland’s authorities should shield judges from pressure, actively protect women’s rights and step up policies for gender equality

28/06/2019 Strasbourg

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published a report on the visit to Poland she carried out from 11 to 15 March 2019. The report focuses on the independence of the judiciary and the prosecution service, women’s sexual and reproductive rights, gender...

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EN RU

Speech

The long fight for justice of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa

26/06/2019 Strasbourg

Opening the photography exhibition “Srebrenica – Mothers’ long fight for justice” presented in the lobby of the Parliamentary Assembly during its summer session from 24-28 June 2019, the Commissioner made the following statement: Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you for coming here today for the...

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EN RU

Speech

It is time to end coercion in mental health

26/06/2019 Strasbourg

Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly’s debate on “Ending coercion in mental health: the need for a human rights-based approach”, the Commissioner delivered the following statement today: Download the speech CommDH/Speech(2019)7 (Pdf) It is a great pleasure to address the Parliamentary Assembly...

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EN RU

Statement

Georgian authorities must protect participants in the upcoming Pride march in Tbilisi

20/06/2019 Strasbourg

“All Georgians have the same human rights and they should enjoy them free from discrimination. This means that everyone, including LGBTI people, must be protected from violence and hate speech, be able to exercise freedom of expression, and to conduct peaceful demonstrations,” said the...

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Recommendation

Council of Europe member states must assume more responsibility for rescuing migrants at sea and protecting their rights

18/06/2019 Strasbourg

“European states’ approach to migration in the Mediterranean Sea has become much too focused on preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores, and too little on the humanitarian and human rights aspects. This approach is having tragic consequences”, said Dunja Mijatović, Council...

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Speech

Speech by Commissioner Dunja Mijatović, at the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age, RightsCon 2019, Tunis, 11 June 2019

11 June 2019 Tunis

Last week, Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramadan. Celebrations were held in many countries, including here. There was however a notable exception: China. There the authorities banned such celebrations. This is not surprising. A recent article of the New York Times from the city...

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Third party intervention

The Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning family reunification in Sweden

03/06/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of Dabo v. Sweden. This case concerns the refusal to grant family reunification to the family members of a person with refugee status in Sweden, because he did...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Council of Europe member states should urgently repatriate their under-age nationals stranded in Northern Syria

28/05/2019 Strasbourg

The camp of Al-Hol in Northern Syria hosts more than 73 000 people, including citizens of Council of Europe member states, who live in squalid and hazardous conditions according to the World Health Organisation. 90% of those stranded in the camp with almost no access to health care are women and...

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EN FR RU

Statement

ICD11 is a stride toward depathologisation of trans people, but more is needed

27/05/2019 Strasbourg

“The removal of gender identity disorder from the list of mental illnesses in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), adopted by the Assembly of States of the World Health Organisation on 25 May 2019 is a welcome and overdue development for trans people all...

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