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Human Rights Day

States’ duty to protect human rights defenders

06/12/2018 Strasbourg

Ahead of Human Rights Day, Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, calls on member states to halt the attacks against human rights defenders and improve their safety and working environment. “In spite of an international declaration and clear standards protecting the...

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Statement

Commissioner’s statement on developments affecting the work of human rights defenders and civil society in Turkey

20/11/2018 Strasbourg

Mr Osman Kavala was arrested on 18 October 2017 by the Turkish authorities and has been deprived of his liberty ever since, without an indictment. I have been following this case very closely as Mr Kavala is a long-standing partner of my Office, a prominent human rights defender, philanthropist,...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner Mijatović intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Emin Huseynov v. Azerbaijan

04/10/2018 Strasbourg

Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Emin Huseynov against Azerbaijan, relating to the deprivation of nationality of the applicant, who subsequently became...

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Letter

The Commissioner requests decisive measures to safeguard Oyub Titiev’s rights

17/07/2018 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter she sent to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Mr Yury Chaika, concerning the situation of Mr Oyub Titiev, the leading member of the Human Rights Centre Memorial who is being prosecuted in the Chechen Republic. In the letter, the...

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Statement

Ukrainian authorities should step up their efforts to stop attacks against Roma and human rights defenders

25/06/2018 Strasbourg

On Saturday night, a group of masked men attacked a Roma camp in western Ukraine, killing one young person and injuring four others, including a child. I wish to express my condolences to the family of the person killed and I hope that the injured will soon recover. I urge the Ukrainian...

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World refugee day

Commissioner calls on member states to cooperate with NGOs assisting migrants

19/06/2018 Strasbourg

Ahead of World Refugee Day, Commissioner Mijatović has issued the following statement today: “I want to pay tribute to the individuals and non-governmental organisations that are standing up for the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees. All across Europe, committed individuals and...

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Statement

Hungary: Commissioner concerned at further planned barriers to the work of NGOs assisting migrants

01/06/2018 Strasbourg

“The draft legislation (Bill No. T/333) recently submitted by the Hungarian government to the Parliament, which provides for criminal law sentences, including imprisonment, for those ‘facilitating illegal immigration’ constitutes a worrying human rights development”, said today Commissioner...

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Statement

The Commissioner condemns attack against the head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial in Dagestan

29/03/2018 Strasbourg

Yesterday the head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial in Dagestan, Mr Sirazhutdin Datsiev, was attacked on the way to his office in Makhachkala. I firmly condemn this violent assault against a member of Memorial. It is the latest of a succession of attacks in recent months targeting - human...

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Statement

Commissioner concerned about proposed additional restrictions to the work of NGOs in Hungary

15/02/2018 Strasbourg

I am seriously concerned at the legislative package recently announced by the Hungarian government under the name “Stop Soros”. If adopted by Parliament, it will introduce further arbitrary restrictions to the indispensable work of human rights NGOs and defenders in Hungary. In a letter I sent to...

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Statement

Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities

06/02/2018 Strasbourg

Ten years ago the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted its Declaration on action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities. Since then, the institution of the Commissioner for Human Rights has strengthened its action to support the work of human...

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Third party intervention

The Russian Federation’s Law on Foreign Agents contravenes human rights

13/07/2017 Strasbourg

“The Russian Federation’s legislative framework on non-commercial organisations is incompatible with international and European human rights standards”, writes the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, in his observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on Ukrainian authorities to revise the anti-corruption legislation that might negatively affect NGOs and journalists

24/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine published today, the Commissioner recommends removing the recently-enacted provisions in the legislation on corruption prevention requiring civil society representatives or other persons working on...

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Statement

Commissioner concerned about sentencing of Human Rights Defender Murat Çelikkan in Turkey

18/05/2017 Strasbourg

I am dismayed at the sentencing of Murat Çelikkan on 15 May to 18 months in prison on terrorist propaganda charges for acting as a symbolic co-editor of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem. A prominent Turkish human rights defender, Murat Çelikkan has made invaluable contributions to my Office and...

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Statement

Azerbaijan should release all persons detained because of their views expressed or legitimate civic activity

17/05/2017 Strasbourg

Today marks the four-year anniversary of the arrest of Ilkin Rustamzade, a blogger and youth activist, imprisoned in Azerbaijan since 17 May 2013. He was arrested on charges of hooliganism, due to his alleged involvement in a ‘Harlem Shake’ video filmed in Baku. Concerns regarding his health...

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Third party intervention

Azerbaijan: Repression of lawyers who defend human rights must stop

28/11/2016 Strasbourg

“Judicial harassment and retaliatory measures against human rights defenders and their lawyers continue to characterise the response of Azerbaijan’s authorities to those who express critical opinions and co-operate with international organisations to expose human rights violations in the country”...

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Statement

Russia must shed full light on attacks against journalists and human rights defenders in Ingushetia

10/03/2016 Strasbourg

Further to the very serious attacks against journalists and human rights defenders which occurred in Ingushetia yesterday, I have reiterated my concerns to the Russian authorities in a telephone conversation this morning. I took note that the Ministry of Interior of Ingushetia has opened an...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Khadija Ismayilova

21/01/2016 Strasbourg

Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published his written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on a case concerning journalist and human rights defender Khadija Ismayilova. The Commissioner’s observations underscore the structural...

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Statement

OSCE Representative and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights condemn sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan

01 September 2015 Strasbourg/Vienna

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, today condemned the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova. “The charges brought against Ismayilova, and the trial, are unjust; they...

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Statement

Commissioner appalled by sentences against Leyla and Arif Yunus

13/08/2015 Strasbourg

I am appalled and saddened by Baku Court’s decision to sentence Leyla and Arif Yunus to respectively 8 years and a half and 7 years of prison. These sentences are a glaring illustration of the ongoing repression in Azerbaijan, where human rights defenders are selectively targeted with criminal...

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Opinion

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights reiterates his call to bring Russian NGO legislation in line with European standards

09/07/2015 Strasbourg

Read the opinion “Russian NGO legislation falls short of European standards and must be revised to allow human rights defenders and NGOs in Russia to work in an environment conducive to performing their essential role in society,” said today Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils...

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