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Statement

Member states should provide more support to Russian and Belarusian human rights defenders

12/10/2022 Strasbourg

The recent awards of the Nobel Peace Prize and of the Vaclav Havel Prize to human rights defenders from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine is an additional recognition by the international community of the crucial role defenders play in advancing and protecting human rights for all, especially in times...

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Statement

Azerbaijan’s authorities should immediately release human right lawyer Elchin Sadykov and journalist Avaz Zeynalli and stop intimidating and harassing civil society activists and independent media actors

13/09/2022 Strasbourg

The arrest last Saturday in Baku of human rights lawyer Elchin Sadykov and his client, Avaz Zeynalli, journalist, illustrates once again the hostile environment which civil society activists and independent media professionals face in Azerbaijan. Mr Sadykov is a well-known human right defender...

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Statement

Russian civil society needs support of Council of Europe member states

24/03/2022 Strasbourg

During her mission to the Czech Republic carried out as part of her work on the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine, the Commissioner also met with a large number of civil society actors, including Russian and Belarusian human rights defenders and journalists who had...

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Statement

The liquidation of Memorial NGOs is a harsh blow to human rights protection in Russia

29/12/2021 Strasbourg

"The Russian courts decisions yesterday and today to shut down two prominent human rights groups - International Memorial and Human Rights Centre Memorial – on the grounds of the so-called “foreign agents” law is a deplorable move that will have significant negative consequences for human rights...

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Report

Human rights of LGBTI people in Europe: current threats to equal rights, challenges faced by defenders, and the way forward

09/12/2021 Strasbourg

“LGBTI human rights defenders are facing an increasingly hostile environment in many European countries. Member states of the Council of Europe must do more to protect them”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, upon releasing the report of an online...

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Letter

Commissioner urges the Russian General Prosecutor to discontinue the liquidation proceedings of Memorial human rights NGOs

07/12/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, expresses her concerns over the liquidation proceedings against two prominent Russian human rights groups - International Memorial and Human...

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Letter

Commissioner seeks clarification over criminal proceedings against Armenian human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan

23/11/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, requests information with regards to the ongoing criminal proceedings against human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan, Head of the Yezidi Center...

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Statement

The Russian authorities should discontinue the liquidation of Memorial and repeal the “foreign agents” law as a matter of priority

17/11/2021 Strasbourg

The Russian authorities' move towards liquidating the NGOs International Memorial and Human Rights Centre Memorial for non-compliance with the so-called “foreign agents” law is deeply disturbing. Memorial is one of the most senior and prominent human rights groups in Russia and a symbol of the...

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Statement

Reprisals against Belarusian civil society must stop

03/11/2021 Strasbourg

Today’s verdict against two members of the Belarusian human rights centre Vyasna - Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa – sentenced respectively to three and to two and a half years of imprisonment in a colony, is another illustration of the reprisals against human rights defenders taking place...

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Statement

Turkey: prolongation of detention of Osman Kavala displays contempt for human rights and the rule of law

02/09/2021 Strasbourg

Yesterday’s decision of the Istanbul 13th Assize Court to prolong the detention of Mr Osman Kavala perpetuates the violation of both his human rights and of Turkey’s obligation to abide by a final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Kavala has been in detention for 46 months...

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Speech

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov

24/05/2021 Strasbourg

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov - Plenary session Peace, progress and human rights are about choosing the right side. When you decide to defend and promote them, you choose to take the side of those who seek freedom. You...

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Event

Alarm and Hope. 21st century International Conference

20/05/2021 Strasbourg

online conference dedicated to the centenary of Andrei Sakharov

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Report

Environmental Rights Activism and Advocacy in Europe: Issues, Threats, Opportunities

31/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Environmental protection is a critical pillar in ensuring that everyone in Europe can fully enjoy human rights,” the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, said today upon the release of a report on a round-table with environmental human rights defenders from across...

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Report

European countries should lift the taboo on Afrophobia and start addressing this phenomenon

19/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Racism and racial discrimination against people of African descent remain a widespread yet unacknowledged problem in Europe. It is time to recognise it and take measures to combat Afrophobia more effectively”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović,...

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Statement

Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the State Duma to refrain from adopting legislation which violates the rights of NGOs and civil society activists

07/12/2020 Strasbourg

“I have been following closely recent discussions concerning a number of new bills related to NGOs and, in particular, I note that Russian civil society has expressed criticism of these bills. Based on all the information received, I call on the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian...

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Statement

Commissioner urges Hungary’s Parliament to postpone the vote on draft bills that, if adopted, will have far-reaching adverse effects on human rights in the country

20/11/2020 Strasbourg

“The Hungarian Government bills submitted to Parliament last week comprising proposals to amend the Constitution and other legislative instruments may have serious adverse effects on human rights in the country”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović today. “I...

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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

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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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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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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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 RU

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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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 RU

Statement

Julian Assange should not be extradited due to potential impact on press freedom and concerns about ill-treatment

20/02/2020 Strasbourg

I have been following with great attention the developments concerning Julian Assange’s case, in particular the charges against him and the extradition request submitted by the United States government to the United Kingdom. In addition to my own monitoring and analysis, I have received...

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Statement

The reaction of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to the re-arrest of Osman Kavala

19/02/2020 Strasbourg

The re-arrest of Osman Kavala after his acquittal in the Gezi trial yesterday, under separate charges concerning the coup attempt of 15 July 2016, is a perfect illustration of the acute problems of the Turkish judiciary and the situation of Turkish human rights defenders that I have examined in a...

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Ülke ziyaret raporu

Türk makamları yargı bağımsızlığını yeniden tesis etmeli ve insan hakları savunucularını hedef almaya ve susturmaya son vermeli

19/02/2020 Strazburg

Bugün yayımlanan raporunda Avrupa Konseyi İnsan Hakları Komiseri Dunja Mijatović, Türk makamlarını, yargı bağımsızlığını yeniden tesis etmeye ve insan hakları savunucularını, avukatları ve gazetecileri hedef alma ve onları idari, adli işlemler ve davalarla susturma uygulamasına son vermeye...

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Statement

Commissioner calls on the Russian authorities to investigate assaults against journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Marina Dubrovina in Chechnya

07/02/2020 Strasbourg

The physical assaults against journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Marina Dubrovina in the entrance hall of a hotel in Grozny yesterday evening is the latest of a series of worrying attacks on human rights defenders and critics in the Chechen Republic. The climate of hostility against...

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Speech

Human Rights in Europe: Forward and back? How we can regain the ground in polarising times

20/01/2020 Lund

Anna Lindh Lecture, Lund University I can hardly see a better occasion than today’s lecture to hold a conversation on human rights in Europe in this particular period of time. I would like to thank the University of Lund, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Anna Lindh Foundation for giving me...

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Statement

Commissioner calls on the State Duma of the Russian Federation to refrain from adopting the new bill on foreign agents

21/11/2019 Strasbourg

I call on the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to refrain from adopting the draft law currently under examination that would significantly extend the definition and scope of a “foreign agent”. Such a law would allow the authorities to designate as a “foreign agent” any...

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EN RU

Statement

The Commissioner urges the authorities of the Russian Federation to discontinue the liquidation proceedings against the All-Russia Movement for Human Rights

16/10/2019 Strasbourg

“It has come to my attention that a judicial action to dissolve the non-governmental organisation “All-Russia Movement for Human Rights” has been initiated by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. This NGO, which is led by the well-known human rights defender Lev Ponomarev, has been...

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