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Visit to Greece

Greece: progress in combating racism, but concerns remain about the impact of austerity

08/07/2016 Athens

“I welcome the government’s efforts to combat racism and homophobia in Greece. The 2014 anti-racism law has consolidated the legislative framework and provided useful tools to prosecutors and police officers. However, much more is needed in order to bring this law to life and to further enhance...

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Poland: Commissioner concerned about bill on the Constitutional Tribunal

08/07/2016 Strasbourg

“I am very concerned at the adoption by the Polish Sejm of a bill on the Constitutional Tribunal yesterday because it poses a serious threat to the rule of law. In my recent report on Poland, I expressed concern at the current paralysis of the Constitutional Tribunal because of its negative...

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Visit report

Erosion of rule of law threatens human rights protection in Poland

15/06/2016 Warsaw

“Recent far-reaching changes to Poland’s legal and institutional framework threaten human rights and undermine the rule of law, on which the protection of human rights ultimately depends. Lawmakers and the Government should urgently change course”, said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe...

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Visit to Iceland

Iceland: ratify the Disabilities Convention and strengthen the human rights protection system

13/06/2016 Strasbourg

“Iceland should ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and align its legislation and practice with international standards and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Abolishing full deprivation of legal capacity and plenary guardianship of persons...

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Issue Paper

European countries have to prioritise migrant integration

31/05/2016 Strasbourg

“In the wake of the arrival of over one million people seeking protection in recent months, European countries share the common, pressing need to get integration right” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a report on migrant integration. “After...

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Visit Memorandum

Commissioner publishes Memorandum on surveillance in the UK

17/05/2016 Strasbourg

The Commissioner has published a Memorandum on surveillance and oversight mechanisms in the UK today. In the Memorandum he commends the UK government for its attempt to overhaul the investigatory powers framework by providing a world-leading Investigatory Powers Bill, which is currently the...

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Visit to Andorra

Andorra: sustain progress on children and women’s rights and bolster human rights structures

12/05/2016 Andorra La Vella

“Andorra has a very advanced system of inclusive education, whereby all children, including those with disabilities and from migrant families, learn together with other children and are supported as necessary. However, further efforts are required to enhance the overall protection of children’s...

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Visit to Croatia

Croatia: High time to create a tolerant and inclusive society

29/04/2016 Zagreb

“Social cohesion and pluralism are under threat in Croatia. I urge the authorities to initiate and engage in an open dialogue with all stakeholders in order to protect pluralism and avoid further polarisation in society. Moreover, political leaders need to send an unequivocal message against...

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Crimea: Commissioner urges a reversal of the ban on the Mejlis

26/04/2016 Strasbourg

I am very concerned about today’s court decision in Crimea to ban the Mejlis by declaring it to be an extremist organisation. As the highest representative body of the Crimean Tatars, the Mejlis is indissociable from their aspirations to reestablish themselves in the peninsula after decades of...

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Annual activity report

Human rights in Europe: Do not leave the battlefield

18/04/2016 Strasbourg

“2015 was a year of fear and insecurity in Europe. The conflict in eastern Ukraine and ongoing economic malaise were overshadowed by a sense of vulnerability to terrorist threats and panic at the apparent inability to cope with the influx of asylum seekers”, said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of...

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Country visit

Turkey: security trumping human rights, free expression under threat

14/04/2016 Ankara

“Respect for human rights has deteriorated at an alarming speed in recent months in the context of Turkey’s fight against terrorism” said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of a nine- day visit to Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Ankara. The topics of the visit...

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Visit report

Cyprus should enhance refugee protection and alleviate effects of austerity measures on human rights

31/03/2016 Strasbourg

Read the report “Despite some progress made in immigration law and policy, Cyprus’ asylum system still suffers from a number of shortcomings that need to be urgently redressed”, said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a report based on his...

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Visit to Ukraine

Ukraine: accountability for serious human rights violations is key to reconciliation process

29/03/2016 Strasbourg

“The armed conflict in Ukraine has yielded many reports of serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture on both sides of the contact line. The perpetrators of such grave crimes must be brought to account. The participation of victims of human...

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Visit memorandum

Commissioner publishes Memorandum on asylum and immigration in the UK

22/03/2016 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a Memorandum addressed to the UK Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, in which he commends the UK’s efforts in providing resettlement to Syrian refugees. He also expresses a number of concerns regarding a trend of restrictive immigration policy and law which...

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The implementation of the EU-Turkey deal must uphold human rights

21/03/2016 Strasbourg

Now that the EU Turkey deal has been reached, the utmost care should be given to its implementation in order to dispel a number of serious concerns that the deal elicits from a human rights perspective. It is positive that the agreement contains some legal safeguards, such as the adherence to...

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Issue Paper

Nine ways for European governments to establish the truth about missing persons and support victims

17/03/2016 Strasbourg

“The protracted inability of European countries to shed light on the fate and whereabouts of tens of thousands of persons who are missing or disappeared following conflicts or dictatorships across the continent is an open wound for their relatives and constitutes a serious human rights violation....

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Third party intervention

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

Strasbourg 16/03/2016

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, publishes today his written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on a case concerning the killing of prominent Russian human rights defender Natalia Estemirova. Observing that the murder of Natalia...

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Opinion article

EU-Turkey deal on refugees disregards human rights standards

14/03/2016 Strasbourg

In an opinion editorial published in the International New York Times today, Commissioner Muižnieks warns that the deal the European Council is discussing with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees runs contrary to human rights standards. “The automatic forced return that the deal allows is illegal...

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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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Joint statement

We need more than a humanitarian response from Europe

09/03/2016 Strasbourg

On the occasion of International Women’s Day Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasized the protection needs of refugee women and girls arriving in Southern Europe. This year, to date, UNHCR...

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