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EN FR

Letter

Polish authorities should ensure the continuity, independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman institution

22/10/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, made public today, the Commissioner raises her concerns about risks to the continuity and the effective functioning of the Polish Ombudsman institution. A constitutional challenge to the legal provision allowing the current...

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Statement

Croatian authorities must stop pushbacks and border violence, and end impunity

21 October 2020 Strasbourg

The latest allegations of collective expulsions of migrants, denial of access to asylum, and of extreme violence by Croatian law enforcement officers used in this context are extremely worrying. Numerous human rights organisations and international organisations have been documenting for a long...

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EN FR

Statement

Truth and Justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia

16/10/2020 Strasbourg

“Another year has passed, and there is still no truth or justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia in sight. Three years after her murder, it has still not been established who ordered it and what the motives behind her brutal assassination were. Daphne Caruana Galizia has become the symbol of a...

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Speech

Welcome Address at the Online Conference on Safety of Journalists

14/10/2020 Strasbourg

Ten years ago, I received a phone call from Strasbourg, just a few months after I had taken up office as the new OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. On the other end of the line was Thomas Hammarberg, who back then was holding the position I hold today. He told me he was working on a...

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Speech

Introductory remarks at the exchange of views with PACE Standing Committee

13/10/2020 Strasbourg

Dear PACE members, It is a pleasure to meet with you today, although only from cyberspace. I would have preferred to get together with you last April at your plenary session to discuss my annual report. Regrettably, the pandemic made it impossible and I was only able to circulate my report...

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Speech

Structural inequality as the root of violence against women

07/10/2020 Strasbourg

Annual conference of the WAVE network (Women Against Violence Europe) Dear organisers, dear participants, Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about these issues which are so high on my agenda. 1. I would like to reflect first on some recent attempts to undermine women’s rights....

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EN FR RU

Statement

Nagorno-Karabakh: The escalation of the conflict is posing a serious threat to human rights

01/10/2020 Strasbourg

“I deeply regret the resumption of the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has already resulted in many casualties”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. “I remind both states about their obligation under the European Convention on...

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EN FR

Statement

International day of older persons – reflection and reaction needed in the time of the pandemic

01/10/2020 Strasbourg

The international day of older persons is an opportunity to celebrate older persons, their achievements and their continuing contribution to our societies. This year, we are marking this day in the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed serious failings in all the Council...

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EN FR RU

Statement

The Russian authorities should end continuous judicial harassment of human rights defenders

30/09/2020 Strasbourg

Yesterday’s judgment against Yuri Dmitriev, a Russian historian and human rights defender sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment in a high-security prison having been acquitted earlier on the same charges, raises serious doubts as to the credibility of his prosecution. Mr Dmitriev is widely known in...

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EN FR

Letter

Czech Republic: The Chamber of Deputies should seize the opportunity to deliver justice to victims of forced sterilisations

29/09/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, made public today, the Commissioner invites parliamentarians to ensure that the consideration of the bill on the compensation of victims of forced and coercive sterilisations extends beyond the first reading...

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Statement

Witnesses in proceedings relating to crimes committed during the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia must be effectively protected and supported

23/09/2020 Strasbourg

The provision of effective protection and support for witnesses in the context of wartime-related criminal proceedings is instrumental to the fight against impunity for the crimes committed during the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia. However, over recent days, the name of a protected...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Human rights violations in Belarus must stop immediately

21/09/2020 Strasbourg

More than a month after the beginning of mass protests following the presidential elections in Belarus, the human rights situation in the country remains extremely worrying. Thousands of peaceful protesters have been arrested, and several individuals have been reported missing. Yet, non-violent...

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EN FR

Third Party Intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the absence of legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Romania

21/09/2020 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Florin Buhuceanu and Victor Ciobotaru v. Romania and 12 other cases, which relate to the absence of a legal framework for the recognition of stable same-sex relationships....

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Speech

M100 Media Award - Laudatory speech for Szabolcs Dull

17/09/2020 Strasbourg

Journalism is about choosing the right side. When you work in this field, you choose to take the side of those who seek out and tell the truth. You choose to think and act with independence, freedom and objectivity. You choose to serve the public good. This is part of the appeal of journalism,...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on the authorities of San Marino to refrain from actions jeopardising the independence of the judiciary

15/09/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of San Marino, the Commissioner raises a number of concerns relating to recent developments concerning the judiciary in San Marino. Referring to the communications she has received from representatives of the Sammarinese judiciary in...

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EN FR RU

Statement

The authorities of the Russian Federation must ensure the safety of Salman Tepsurkaev abducted and subjected to torture in Chechnya

10/09/2020 Strasbourg

The abduction of Salman Tepsurkaev in Krasnodar Krai in the Russian Federation on September 5 is a serious human rights violation that cannot go unpunished. I call on the Russian authorities to take immediate action to ensure his safety. Mr Tepsurkaev (19) is a chat moderator on 1ADAT, a news...

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EN FR

Letter

Commissioner urges the Slovak Parliament to reject bill which would further restrict women’s access to their sexual and reproductive health and rights

10/09/2020 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter in which she raises concerns about a draft law currently under discussion in the National Council of the Slovak Republic which would introduce restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion services. The letter was sent on 7 September to the Speaker of...

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EN FR

Statement

Commissioner calls on the Greek authorities to provide adequate support to all those affected by the fire in Moria

09/09/2020 Strasbourg

“The fire that destroyed most of the Registration and Identification Centre of Moria and the informal settlements surrounding it, on the Greek island of Lesvos on Tuesday night has dramatically worsened the living conditions of more than 12 000 asylum seekers and migrants, including more than...

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EN FR

Statement

Bulgaria must investigate police violence against journalists

03/09/2020 Strasbourg

“I am concerned at numerous reports of police violence against journalists covering demonstrations in Sofia”, said today the Commissioner. “Several journalists were reportedly beaten up and pepper sprayed when riot police clashed with demonstrators yesterday in Sofia. One journalist was...

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EN FR

Letter

Spain’s authorities must find alternatives to accommodating migrants, including asylum seekers, in substandard conditions in Melilla

03/09/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Ministers of Home Affairs and for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of Spain, published today, the Commissioner raises concerns about the situation of the migrants, including asylum seekers, who are accommodated in the bullring of Melilla, following the...

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Statement

Commissioner reiterates her call to restore and uphold the role of lawyers as human rights defenders in Turkey in the aftermath of the death of lawyer Ebru Timtik

28/08/2020 Strasbourg

I am deeply saddened by the death of lawyer Ebru Timtik, who died in a hospital in Turkey after 238 days of hunger strike, during which her demand for a fair trial remained unmet by the Turkish justice system. I express my sincere condolences to her family. Ms Timtik was one of the lawyers of the...

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EN FR

Statement

European states must no longer procrastinate on the duty to establish the truth concerning missing persons

28/08/2020 Strasbourg

“The lack of truth and justice for thousands of missing persons remains a serious human rights issue in Europe. So many families of missing persons in Council of Europe member states, including in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in the Balkans, Cyprus, Georgia,...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for prompt investigations into Alexei Navalny’s case

26/08/2020 Strasbourg

"Alexei Navalny’s condition remains serious a week after he fell into a coma. I express my sympathy to him, his family and friends, and I hope he will fully recover soon", said today Commissioner Mijatović. "Mr Navalny is a prominent Russian anti-corruption activist, blogger and public figure....

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EN FR

Rule 9

Commissioner Mijatović highlights the need to strengthen the fight against domestic violence in Romania

05/08/2020 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today her submission to the Committee of Ministers in the context of the supervision of the execution of the judgment delivered by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Bălșan v. Romania in 2017. The Court found a violation of the prohibition of torture and...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commemoration of the Roma Holocaust: it is imperative to act relentlessly to combat anti-Gypsyism

31/07/2020 Strasbourg

Remembering the victims of the Roma Holocaust on 2 August is a crucial moment every year. It plays a key role in the fight against racism and discrimination which targets them. I welcome the fact that more and more actors across Europe are involved in exposing the tragic chapters of Roma history...

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EN FR PL RU

Statement

The Commissioner urges President of Poland to veto the amendments to the Medical Professions Act

22/07/2020 Strasbourg

“I regret that the amendments to Poland’s Medical Professions Act adopted on 16 July by the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, fail to explicitly oblige healthcare providers to refer patients to an alternative and willing provider in the event of the refusal of a medical service on...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on Russian authorities to drop charges against human rights defender Semyen Simonov

20/07/2020 Strasbourg

“Today’s indictment of Semyen Simonov, a Russian human rights defender in Sochi, for not complying with the legislation on non-commercial organisations is alarming and will have a massive chilling effect on the entire human rights community in Russia”, said today Commissioner Mijatović. “Mr...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Srebrenica genocide victims' long fight for justice

10/07/2020 Strasbourg

The Srebrenica genocide marked one of the darkest pages of European history. If we want to write a brighter future, we must remember what happened and promote awareness and education about the Srebrenica genocide, and fight against genocide denial or distortion or falsification of that part of...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for effective investigations into cases of police violence in Belgrade

08/07/2020 Strasbourg

“The violent dispersal of demonstrators by the Serbian police in Belgrade yesterday raises serious human rights concerns”, said today the Commissioner. “Police violence or disproportionate use of force must never be tolerated, even when operations aimed at maintaining public order during...

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Statement

The Russian authorities should remedy the long-standing problem of undue restrictions to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and press freedom

06/07/2020 Strasbourg

“The detention of 19 people, including journalists, in Moscow and Pskov on Friday and the verdict against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva today reflect once again the urgency to overhaul legislation governing freedom of assembly and of expression, as well as anti-terrorism and anti-extremism...

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EN RU

Rule 9

The Turkish authorities should release Osman Kavala and take far-reaching measures to prevent the misuse of detentions on remand

03/07/2020 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today her submission to the Committee of Ministers in the context of the supervision of the execution of the judgment handed down by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Kavala v. Turkey on 10 December 2019. This case relates to the detention of the...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner’s concerns about proposed changes affecting the legal profession in Turkey

02/07/2020 Strasbourg

“I have taken note with concern of a bill recently submitted to the Turkish Parliament containing amendments to the Turkish Law No. 1136, which affect lawyers and their professional associations. The proposed changes would notably allow for a plurality of bar associations in provinces with large...

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EN RU

Speech

How to advance the human rights of intersex people: lessons learned from Finland

30/06/2020 Strasbourg

Webinar organised by the Permanent Representation of Finland to the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit I would like to start with a heartfelt thank you to Finland for taking the initiative of this webinar and for its expressed commitment to...

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EN RU

Speech

Human rights and Business - Prosperity Through Diversity

25/06/2020 Strasbourg

Virtual conference under the auspices of the Greek Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Excellencies, dear participants, dear friends, The human rights responsibilities of business are not a new topic, but I think that the way in which we see them is evolving, and so are our expectations. For a...

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EN FR RO RU

Country visit report

The Republic of Moldova should ratify the Istanbul Convention, improve its response to hate speech and advance access to quality healthcare, affordable housing and social inclusion for all

25/06/2020 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today a report on her visit to the Republic of Moldova in March this year – which included travel to Comrat (Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia) and Tiraspol - with recommendations on violence against women and...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on Russian authorities to overhaul legislation and practice governing freedom of assembly and of expression

23/06/2020 Strasbourg

“The arrest of more than 100 people in Moscow and St Petersburg yesterday is yet another illustration of the intolerance of the Russian authorities towards people expressing their opinions peacefully. I stressed on several occasions that the sanitary restrictions introduced to fight the COVID-19...

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DE EN RU

Speech

Protecting refugees in Europe: the ECHR and beyond

22/06/2020 Strasbourg

Video speech given on the occasion of the 20th Berlin Conference on refugee Rights "Europe, Coronavirus and Human Rights - The Significance of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for the Protection of Refugees" Ladies and gentlemen, Over the past 70 years, the European Convention on...

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EN FR

Statement

Pushbacks and border violence against refugees must end

19/06/2020 Strasbourg

“On 20 June, World Refugee Day will spotlight the hardship that refugees endure. I pay tribute to the resilience of refugees and reiterate the call to protect them and uphold their rights”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, ahead of World Refugee Day. “All too often,...

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EN FR RU

Speech

Commissioner Mijatović intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning family reunification in Denmark

10/06/2020 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner took part in the hearing before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of M.A. v. Denmark concerning the refusal to grant family reunification to a Syrian national with temporary protection status, because he had not yet held a residence permit...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Immediate action needed to disembark migrants held on ships off Malta’s coast

04/06/2020 Strasbourg

“The situation of more than 400 persons kept on private ships just outside Malta’s territorial waters is unsustainable and requires immediate action”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Since Malta closed its ports in response to the Covid-19 crisis,...

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EN RU

Speech

States must give a renewed impetus to realising human rights for all

03/06/2020 Strasbourg

The Commissioner participated today in the exchange of views organised by the Greek Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. She delivered the following speech: Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The...

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EN FR RU

Statement

25th anniversary of Tuzla massacre: Ensuring justice for past crimes must be one of the top political priorities in the region

25/05/2020 Strasbourg

Today we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the massacre of Tuzla, where a grenade fired by the Army of the Republika Srpska killed 71 people and injured more than 130. It is important to commemorate the victims and survivors of that atrocious crime and remember the suffering of their families....

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EN FR RU

Statement

Lessons to be drawn from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care facilities

20/05/2020 Strasbourg

After the initial scramble to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Europe and as the situation slowly improves in the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, Council of Europe member states have to reckon with the grim reality that a substantial number of deaths, up to half according to...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Statement of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the Bleiburg commemoration

15/05/2020 Strasbourg

"The mass planned in Sarajevo on 16 May with the intention of commemorating soldiers and civilians who died in Bleiburg, in the aftermath of the Second World War, risks becoming a glorification of those who supported the Nazi-allied fascist Ustasha regime, complicit in the death of hundreds of...

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EN ES FR RU

Joint statement

COVID-19: The suffering and resilience of LGBT persons must be visible and inform the actions of States

15/05/2020 Strasbourg

Statement by human rights experts on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 17 May 2020 Geneva/Washington D.C./Strasbourg, 14 May 2020 On the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on 17 May 2020, a group of United Nations...

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EN FR RU

International Day

Hate mongering against LGBTI people has no place in today’s Europe

15/05/2020 Strasbourg

As we prepare to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I call on all member states of the Council of Europe to take firm action against hate speech targeting LGBTI people, which is dangerously spreading across Europe. Hateful and prejudiced statements,...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Swiss lawmakers should review draft legislation on police counterterrorism measures to ensure respect for human rights

13/05/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Chair and members of the National Council Committee on Security Policy, made public today, the Commissioner invites parliamentarians to review the draft Federal Law on Police Counterterrorism Measures in order to ensure that all human rights standards are respected....

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner urges Malta to meet its obligations to save lives at sea, ensure prompt and safe disembarkation, and investigate allegations of delay or non-response to situations of distress

11/05/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, published today, the Commissioner urges the Maltese government to fully meet its human rights obligations towards migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, who cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. “In accordance with...

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EN FR RU

Statement

COVID-19: Ensure women’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights

07/05/2020 Strasbourg

It is already clear that the pandemic will deepen existing gender inequalities, given women’s over-representation in professions (and other unpaid activities) which expose them to a high risk of infection and in low-paid and precarious jobs which will be particularly badly affected by the ensuing...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Support a free, independent and safe press

30/04/2020 Strasbourg

“Free and quality journalism is an asset of democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the essential role that journalists and media professionals play by providing reliable information, countering disinformation that may cause panic and keeping decision-makers accountable to the...

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