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Opinion article

Keep the press free

02/05/2014 Strasbourg

To work as a journalist today, you need a great deal of courage. In the last twelve months, hundreds of journalists, photographers and camera operators in the world have been killed, injured, kidnapped, threatened or sued. Europe is no exception: worrying patterns are eroding press freedom here...

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Observations on Azerbaijan

Freedom of expression, assembly and association deteriorating in Azerbaijan

23/04/2014 Strasbourg

"Freedom of expression, assembly and association are regrettably deteriorating in Azerbaijan. I once again call on the authorities to pay urgent attention to these issues so as to comply with Azerbaijan's human rights obligations and commitments as a member state of the Council of Europe" said...

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Activity report

2013 annual activity report

08/04/2014 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner Nils Muižnieks, presented his 2013 annual activity report before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Link to the report

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Visit to Romania

Romania has to ensure a better protection to persons with disabilities, children and Roma

04/04/2014 Bucharest

"I am seriously concerned by a number of reported cases of inhuman and degrading treatment of persons with disabilities living in closed institutions. Romania needs to set up an efficient national mechanism for the prevention of torture to safeguard the protection of the human rights of persons...

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Report on visit to Denmark

Better protection needed for migrant children in Denmark

24/03/2014 Strasbourg

"The best interests of the child are not always upheld in the context of asylum and immigration in Denmark. The Danish authorities should improve the protection they provide to migrant children, by ensuring full respect of their rights" said today Nils Muižnieks Council of Europe Commissioner for...

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Visit to Montenegro

Montenegro needs to do more to address past human rights violations and ensure media freedoms

21 March 2014 Podgorica

"Montenegro is still going through a transition period and needs to step up its efforts to provide full redress to all the victims of serious human rights violations that occurred during the wars in the 1990s, to eliminate discrimination, and to enhance media freedom" said Nils Muižnieks, the...

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Letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Czech Republic: urgent action needed to protect Roma from racist extremism

18/03/2014 Strasbourg

"I am deeply concerned about the emerging pattern of anti-Roma events in the Czech Republic – many led by racist extremists groups and organised simultaneously in different localities across the country. Their increased frequency and determined rhetoric against the Roma community call for a...

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Human Rights Comment

Hate speech against women should be specifically tackled

06/03/2014 Strasbourg

"In May 2013, a campaign led notably by Women, Action and the Media and the Everyday Sexism Project attracted global public attention to the issue of social media content promoting violence against women. Such content included the photograph of a well-known singer with a bloodied and beaten face...

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Report on Ukraine

Ukraine: Fight against impunity and judicial reforms are necessary to improve human rights protection

04/03/2014 Strasbourg

"The dramatic events that have been unfolding in Ukraine since November 2013 brought to the fore a number of long-standing, core human rights challenges that the Government has to address, in particular as regards the excessive use of force by the police, the independence and impartiality of the...

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Opinion article

Leaning on judges erodes the rule of law

20/02/2014 Strabourg

In an opinion article for Open Democracy, the Commissioner warns about the dangers that leaning on judges poses to the rule of law. He identifies three recurring problems: non-enforcement of national and international court decisions, challenges to the legitimacy of the judiciary and pressure on...

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Visit to Ukraine

Firm action against police impunity needed in Ukraine, concludes Commissioner Muižnieks

10/02/2014 Kyiv

"Excessive force was used against protesters by law enforcement officers and others working with them in recent months in Ukraine. It is important to prevent any further violence and to ensure accountability for the serious human rights violations which have already occurred." This was the...

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Commissioner Muižnieks to visit Ukraine

03/02/2014 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, will carry out a visit to Ukraine from 4 to 10 February 2014 to focus on the human rights aspects of the current situation in the country, including policing of assemblies and the use of force in that context, as well as...

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Visit to Georgia

Georgia: greater efforts are needed to improve the administration of justice and promote tolerance

27/1/2014 Strasbourg

"Though Georgia has enacted important reforms in the justice system, further efforts are needed to strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary," said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a six-day visit to the country. During the...

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Legal assessment

Ukraine: Commissioner Muižnieks to assess legislative changes

17/01/2014 Strasbourg

"Yesterday, several legislative amendments were adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament. The process took place with unusual haste; the amendments were tabled on 14 January and rushed through Parliament two days later. These amendments, which have reportedly already been signed into law by the...

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Country visit report

Corruption and political interference burden Albania's judicial system

16/01/2014 Strasbourg

"The high level of corruption in the judiciary seriously impedes the proper functioning of the judiciary and undermines public trust in justice and the rule of law in Albania. The authorities have to step up their efforts to ensure that all cases of corruption in the judiciary are effectively...

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Letter to Greek Ministers

Greece must end collective expulsions

14/1/2014 Strasbourg

"The large number of reported collective expulsions by Greece of migrants, including a large number of Syrians fleeing war violence, and allegations of ill-treatment of migrants by members of the coast guard and of the border police raise serious human rights concerns. I call on the Greek...

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Press conference

Europe is failing Syrian refugees

Berlin, 19/12/2013 - , In a press conference in Berlin concluding a 5-day visit to Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany on the Syrian refugee crisis, the Commissioner urged European countries to step up their efforts in providing protection to the more than one million Syrian refugees in Europe. "Turkey...

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Letter to the Prime Minister of Serbia

Serbia should end degrading reception conditions for asylum seekers

12/12/2013 Strasbourg

"Serbia needs to strengthen its asylum system and reception capacities in order to cope with the ever increasing number of arrivals, in particular from war-torn Syria. I could witness signs of the current strains on the Serbian asylum system during my November visit in the reception centre of...

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Letter to the Mayor of Rome

The municipality of Rome should step up its support to Roma and refugees

11/12/2013 Strasbourg

"The situation of Roma and refugees in Italy is a long-standing concern. Local authorities, including in Rome, have an important role to play in improving the living conditions of these people," said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a letter...

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Video message

Restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly still serious human rights concerns in Azerbaijan

11/12/2013 Strasbourg

In a video message to the Azerbaijan's Human Rights Forum, organized by the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Commissioner expressed his serious concern at the apparent intensification of the practice of unjustified or selective criminal prosecution of...

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