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Country visit report

Croatia should eliminate shortcomings in transitional justice, immigration and media freedom

05/10/2016 Strasbourg

“Croatia has substantially improved its human rights law and practice in the last years. However, some recent developments put at serious risk these achievements” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing today a report based on his visit to the country...

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Letter to the Minister for Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia


Letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, to Mr Aleksandar Vulin, Minister for Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia, concerning the issue of reparations to victims of wartime crimes Read the letter Read the Governments reply

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Greece urged to protect the human rights of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and de-institutionalise them

12/09/2016 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter he addressed to the Greek government noting with interest the efforts made by Greece since the mid-1980s in order to end institutionalisation of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and to develop community care services. However, he...

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Country visit

Latvia: Strengthen policies against bias-motivated crimes and ratify the Istanbul Convention

09/09/2016 Riga

“While Latvia has taken some important steps to advance human rights and reduce social exclusion, gaps remain in the protection of vulnerable groups. The authorities should develop community-based services for persons with disabilities, grant automatic citizenship to all children born in Latvia,...

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Letter to the Prime Minister of Romania

23/08/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Romania published today, Commissioner Muižnieks requested updating information from the Romanian authorities concerning certain major issues affecting the human rights of Romania’s Roma population. This dialogue follows up on the Commissioner’s visit report to...

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Commissioner urges Greece to create an effective law enforcement complaint mechanism and eradicate hate crime

19/08/2016 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter he addressed to the Greek government concerning the Bill on a complaint mechanism covering law enforcement and detention facility agents. The Commissioner welcomes the fact that the Ombudsman, an independent and efficient national human rights...

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Measures taken under the state of emergency in Turkey

26/07/2016 Strasbourg

It is with profound concern that I examined the first decree with the force of law (“Kanun Hükmünde Kararname”, KHK/667) adopted within the framework of the state of emergency declared in Turkey last week. I note that Turkey has submitted a formal notice of derogation to the European Convention...

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Situation in Turkey

20/07/2016 Strasbourg

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the contemptible attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey. I rejoice in the fact that the Turkish people unambiguously foiled this attempt, and that all democratic political currents and leaders stood united against it. There...

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Joint statement

Leading human rights experts call for speedy implementation of the Nelson Mandela Rules on Nelson Mandela International Day


On the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day, a group of human rights experts with a mandate relating to detention have hailed the adoption of the Nelson Mandela Rules, the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which were adopted on 17 December 2015. The United...

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Spain: Commissioner Muižnieks calls for guidance to border police on how to handle migration flows in Ceuta and Melilla

12/07/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Minister of Interior of Spain published today, Commissioner Muižnieks has urged the Spanish authorities to adopt a procedural framework to ensure that border police in Ceuta and Melilla have clear instructions on how to handle mixed migration flows in full compliance with human...

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Report on Ukraine

To prevent further human suffering in the east of Ukraine, the rule of law has to be re-established

11/07/2016 Strasbourg

“The conflict in the east of Ukraine remains the cause of enormous human suffering and loss of life. It is high time to put an end to it and ensure the effective prosecution and sanctioning of those responsible for human rights violations” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner...

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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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