News 2021 News 2021

Statement

New legislation perpetuates restrictions and obstacles to protection of human rights on Poland’s eastern border

01/12/2021 Strasbourg

Amendments to Poland’s Border Protection Act, adopted yesterday, effectively perpetuate many of the restrictive measures put in place by the country’s state of emergency, with negative effects on the freedom of movement, assembly, and expression on Poland’s eastern border. During my recent...

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Statement

The persecution of Crimean Tatars must stop

25/11/2021 Strasbourg

The arrest and detention of a large group of Crimean Tatars, including several journalists, who assembled peacefully in Simferopol last Tuesday to witness the release from detention of human rights lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, is the latest link in a chain of reprisals and harassment directed at...

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Speech

Combating violence against women in a digital age utilising the Istanbul Convention: GREVIO General Recommendation No.1 on the Digital Dimension of Violence against Women

24/11/2021 Strasbourg

Dear GREVIO members, Distinguished speakers, Colleagues and friends, Let me begin by congratulating GREVIO on the adoption of General Recommendation No.1 on the digital dimension of violence against women. I wish to extend my congratulations to all the experts and actors who worked on this...

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EN FR

Letter

Commissioner seeks clarification over criminal proceedings against Armenian human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan

23/11/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, requests information with regards to the ongoing criminal proceedings against human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan, Head of the Yezidi Center...

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EN FR

Statement

Georgian politicians should fully respect the independent mandate of the Public Defender

23/11/2021 Strasbourg

Public attacks by members of the Georgian Parliament against the Public Defender of Georgia, in connection with her and her Office’s work related to the imprisonment of the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and his hunger strike, are unacceptable. I commend the Public Defender and...

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EN FR

Statement

Council of Europe member states must prioritise children’s rights every day

20/11/2021 Strasbourg

“On the occasion of World Children’s Day, I call on political leaders to ensure that children’s rights remain firmly on top of their agendas. Council of Europe member states must take all necessary measures to build strong societies for the future. This means investing in children from early...

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EN FR

Country visit

Commissioner calls for immediate access of international and national human rights actors and media to Poland’s border with Belarus to end human suffering and violations of human rights

19/11/2021 Strasbourg

“The humanitarian and human rights situation along Poland’s border with Belarus is alarming. Urgent action is needed to protect the lives of people stranded in the border regions”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, following her 4-day mission to...

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Opinion article

Op-ed: De-escalate Bosnia and Herzegovina - before it is too late

18/11/2021 Strasbourg

EUObserver, 18/11/2021 Warmongering has seriously intensified in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As some politicians, including in the neighbouring countries Serbia and Croatia, ratchet-up their inflammatory rhetoric, the international community struggles to find a response to escalating tensions. This...

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Statement

The Russian authorities should discontinue the liquidation of Memorial and repeal the “foreign agents” law as a matter of priority

17/11/2021 Strasbourg

The Russian authorities' move towards liquidating the NGOs International Memorial and Human Rights Centre Memorial for non-compliance with the so-called “foreign agents” law is deeply disturbing. Memorial is one of the most senior and prominent human rights groups in Russia and a symbol of the...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning abortion rights in Poland

10/11/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights as a third party in the cases of K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications, K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications and A.L. - B. v. Poland and 3 other applications concerning abortion rights in Poland....

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Memorandum

Humanitarian and human rights protection needed following the 2020 outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

08/11/2021 Strasbourg

One year after the signing of the trilateral statement which ended the 2020 outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, publishes a memorandum addressing the humanitarian and human rights...

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Statement

Reprisals against Belarusian civil society must stop

03/11/2021 Strasbourg

Today’s verdict against two members of the Belarusian human rights centre Vyasna - Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa – sentenced respectively to three and to two and a half years of imprisonment in a colony, is another illustration of the reprisals against human rights defenders taking place...

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Speech

Climate change, human rights and environmental defenders – what role for the academia?

28/10/2021 Edinburgh

"Human Rights and Climate Change", International virtual symposium convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Professor Jaspars, Professor Zenner, Dear Dr Boyd -- dear David, Dear Friends, What a pleasure to be with...

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EN FR

Letter

Slovak Republic: Parliament should reject bill that restricts access to safe and legal abortion services

19/10/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter she had sent to the National Council of the Slovak Republic in which she raises concerns about a draft law currently under discussion that would introduce restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion services. For the third time in three years, the...

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EN FR

Country visit

Reforms needed to better protect journalists’ safety and the rights of migrants and women in Malta

18/10/2021 Strasbourg

“Implementing the recommendations of the public inquiry report which found that the state must bear responsibility for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination should be a top priority for the government”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, following a...

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Statement

Justice should be ensured to honour the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia

16/10/2021 Valletta

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was a courageous woman and a brilliant journalist. She used her skills to speak truth to power. She served the public good, believing in the power of journalism to build a more just society. Despite herself, she became the symbol of all the threats against journalists when...

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Letter

UK government’s legacy proposals must not undermine human rights and cut off victims’ avenues to justice in Northern Ireland

23/09/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, warns that a proposed new plan for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland “would undermine human rights protections and would cut...

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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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EN RU

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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