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Visit report

San Marino: media freedom and gender equality should be improved

15/10/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “San Marino has made progress in promoting human rights in recent years. More sustained action is now needed to ensure media freedom and increase gender equality” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report based on his visit to...

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Country visit report

Slovakia: Roma, LGBTI persons, and persons with disabilities need more protection

13/10/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Slovakia has to step up its efforts aimed at combating and eradicating discrimination in law and practice, and take effective measures to improve the protection of Roma, persons with disabilities and LGBTI persons,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for...

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Report on visit

Germany's efforts to protect refugees are remarkable. Now it has to boost integration and improve fight against racism

01/10/2015 Berlin

“Germany’s considerable efforts in helping asylum-seekers and refugees, in particular Syrians, is commendable and the support of the vast majority of the population is heartening. However, progress is needed to improve reception conditions, speed up fair asylum procedures and accelerate refugee...

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Visit to Belgium

Belgium: accelerate reception of asylum-seekers and improve inclusive education

18/09/2015 Brussels

"The overwhelmingly positive response of Belgian society to the arrivals of refugees and the decision of the authorities to increase the quota of Syrian refugees they accept for resettlement are encouraging signs. They suggest that Belgium is ready to play its part to ensure that Europe meets the...

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Statement

Turkey should ensure immediate access to Cizre by independent observers

11/09/2015 Strasbourg

“I have been following with increasing alarm the escalation of violence in Turkey in recent weeks. I am particularly concerned about very distressing information I have received on developments in Cizre, a city of around 100 000 inhabitants in the Şırnak Province in South-Eastern Turkey” said...

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Opinion article

Europe can do more to protect refugees

02/09/2015 Strasbourg

For many years European countries have been warned about the inadequacy of their immigration and asylum systems. Now, with increased refugee arrivals and more frequent tragedies, this system is showing all its weaknesses. But refugee arrivals are not the real cause of this collapse. The real...

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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

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance

28/08/2015 Strasbourg

30 August, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, should not be the only day when we remember the victims and reflect on the harsh reality that thousands of families of victims are faced with, waiting and hoping to find out the truth about their loved ones. Regrettably,...

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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 article

The Srebrenica genocide: addressing the needs of the victims must be the priority

10/07/2015 Oslobodjenje and others

The Srebrenica genocide is one of the vilest episodes of Europe’s contemporary history. In just a few days in July 1995, around 8 300 boys and men were executed while 30 000 women, children and elderly persons were forcibly displaced. Twenty years on, the victims of that genocide are still...

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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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Country visit report

Serbia: Impunity for war crimes, discrimination and lack of media freedom hamper human rights progress

08/07/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Serbia has to show more resolve in addressing the legacy of the past, to improve the fight against discrimination and to establish a safer media environment” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing the report based on his visit to the...

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Visit to Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine: freedom of movement is vital to preventing isolation and favouring reintegration

04/07/2015 Kyiv

“The continuing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has a devastating impact on the life of communities in the vicinity of the contact line”, stated the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, following his visit to Ukraine from 29 June to 3 July. “Facilities such as...

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Opinion article

You’re Better Than This, Europe

29/06/2015 Strasbourg

In an opinion editorial published today in the New York Times, the Commissioner calls European countries to improve their response to migration by adopting more humane policies. “During the last seven decades, European countries have painstakingly tried to rebuild a continent once shattered by...

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Country visit report

Progress on human rights protection remains slow in Bulgaria

22/06/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Bulgaria has made some progress in strengthening human rights protection, but this remains slow and fragile, in particular as regard the rights of persons placed in institutions, the human rights of migrants and media freedom,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

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Visit to Slovak Republic

Slovakia should set ambitious targets for the social inclusion of Roma and persons with disabilities

19/06/2015 Bratislava

“Although Slovakia has taken important measures to advance its human rights agenda, much more ambitious targets need to be set for eradicating the social exclusion and marginalisation of Roma and persons with disabilities. Also much more should be done to reinforce the effectiveness of the...

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Visit to San Marino

San Marino should not jeopardize media freedom

11/06/2015 Strasbourg

"San Marino should reconsider its current plans to regulate the work of journalists and ensure full respect of the right to report in the public interest” stated Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after his visit to the country on 9-10 June. The Commissioner was...

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Publication of an issue paper

Reinforcing democratic oversight of security services cannot be further delayed

05/06/2015 Strasbourg

Read the issue paper “The current systems of oversight of national security services in Europe remain largely ineffective. Revelations over the last years about security operations which have violated human rights should have prompted reforms in this field, but progress has been disappointingly...

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Opinion article

Sport cannot ignore human rights

04/06/2015 Strasbourg

On June 12 the first European Games begin in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. More than 6,000 athletes from 50 countries will run, fight and jump for medals, igniting the passions of millions of Europeans. We hope they will also stand up to halt the crackdown on human rights defenders occurring...

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Letter

The Commissioner urges Serbia to shield the national Ombudsman from undue pressure

01/06/2015 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Serbia, Mr Aleksandar VUČIĆ, in which he urges the government to fully respect the Serbian Ombudsman’s independence and guarantee a favourable environment for his work. “I am seriously concerned at reports indicating...

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