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(Council of Europe) The independence of the judiciary underpins the rule of law and is essential to the functioning of democracy and the observance of human rights. The fundamental right to a ‘fair trial’ by an ‘independent and impartial tribunal established by law’ is enshrined in the European Convention on ...
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 Council of Europe issued an alert on what happened while G7 was taking place in Biarritz, France concerning threats on media freedom. (Council of Europe)Several journalists present in Biarritz and Bayonne to cover the G7 summit on 24 and 25 August 2019 were subjected to abusive police controls and arbitrary confiscation ...
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(Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka) The HFHR has filed an amicus curiae brief before the Regional Court in Kraków in a case concerning the conduct of several participants of a monthly commemoration of the Smolensk catastrophe towards a journalist reporting on the event, Gazeta Wyborcza’s Paweł Figurski. On 10 August 2017, ...
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(Council of Europe) Freedom of association is a fundamental human right It is protected as an individual’s fundamental human right by the European Convention on Human Rights and may only be subjected to restrictions “necessary in a democratic society. Freedom of association is also an important enabling factor to the ...
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(European Commission) Press release Brussels, 17 July 2019 Building on the lessons learnt since 2014 and detailed consultations since April this year, the Commission has today decided on a series of measures to further strengthen the rule of law in Europe. Over the past five years, the European Commission has ...
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Amnesty International Hungary published a report jointly with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee with regard to the independence of the judiciary in Hungary. The report relies for its analysis on findings by the European Association of Judges and the European Commission."Beyond growing attempts by Hungarian authorities to exert political control over ...
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(OHCHR) Budapest, 17 July 2019 Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I would like to start by thanking the Government of Hungary for the invitation extended to me for this official visit. Conducting country visits to monitor the human rights situation of migrants and to engage in a dialogue with Governments ...
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(OHCHR) GENEVA (18 July 2019) – UN human rights experts have expressed grave concern over the detention and criminal proceedings in Italy against the German captain of the migrant rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3, and stated that the threats to the judge who ruled her release were unlawful. “Rescuing migrants in ...
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(Council of Europe) The Expert Council on the NGO Law is currently preparing a thematic study on the impact of changing criminal law approaches or provisions in Council of Europe Member States on NGO activities, particularly humanitarian efforts targeting refugees and other migrants. The aim is to cover as many national contexts ...
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(OHCHR) The Human Rights Committee, in accordance with article 40, paragraph 4, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Rule 76 of its Rules of Procedure, is mandated to prepare general comments on the various articles and provisions of the Covenant with a view to assisting States parties ...
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(European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights) In 2018, some 2,299 people are estimated to have died or gone missing at sea while crossing the sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution or to pursue a better life. This is on average more than six people per day. Before ...
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(Council of Europe) “European states’ approach to migration in the Mediterranean Sea has become much too focused on preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores, and too little on the humanitarian and human rights aspects.This approach is having tragic consequences”, said Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human ...
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(OHCHR - GENEVA, 20 May 2019) – UN human rights experts* have condemned a proposed draft decree by Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, to fine those who rescue migrants and refugees at sea, and urged the Government to halt its approval. “The right to life and the principle of non-refoulement ...
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(Council of Europe) Today the Commissioner published a letter she addressed to the Chairwoman of the Committee on Internal Affairs and Community of the Parliament of Germany, Andrea Lindholz, in which she raises concerns about some aspects of the bill that aims at facilitating removals of people obliged to leave ...
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(ECNL) The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe (COE) has just released a Recommendation to CoE Member States on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on people’s lives and rights. The 10-point Recommendation provides guidance for national authorities and AI actors to maximise the potential of AI systems and prevent ...
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(International Service for Human Rights - 21/03/2019) The Human Rights Council has adopted a strong consensus resolution recognising the critical role of environmental human rights defenders in protecting vital ecosystems, addressing climate change, attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and ensuring that no-one is left behind.  The resolution meets many of the civil society demands ISHR ...
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(OHCHR - 5 April 2019) The Hungarian Parliament has recently amended the laws on administrative courts, adopted in December 2018, in order to bring them in line with international standards. At that time, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, addressed a communication to the Government ...
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(Council of Europe) In the wake of recent challenges to the independent functioning of associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Council of Europe's constitutional legal experts today adopted a report on standards with respect to foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Council of Europe member states. Over the last four years, ...
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(The local) The UN human rights chief called Wednesday for a "full investigation" into the possible excessive use of force by French police during the "yellow vest" demonstrations. "The 'Gilets Jaunes' (yellow vests) have been protesting what they see as exclusion from economic rights and participation in public affairs," rights chief Michelle ...
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(Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights) In a memorandum containing her observations on the events linked to the so-called yellow vest movement, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, invites the French authorities to show more respect for human rights during operations aimed at maintaining public order ...
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On 12 November 2018, a group of UN Special Rapporteurs wrote to the Italian government over concerns of violations of migrants' rights as well as the criminalisation of solidarity. They wrote: In view of the allegations highlighted in the present letter, we continue to express concern about the violations of ...
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(GUE/NGL) The European Parliament has condemned the excessive force and violence* used by police forces on peaceful protesters across Europe in recent times which have left several dead, thousands injured with many with life-changing injuries. The vote came after MEPs from GUE/NGL demanded action after unrests in Romania, Spain, Hungary, Greece ...
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(OHCHR) GENEVA (14 February 2019) — The right to protest in France has been disproportionately curtailed during the recent “gilets jaunes” protests and the authorities should rethink their law enforcement policies to guarantee the exercise of freedoms, say a group of UN human rights experts*. “Since the start of the yellow ...
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(OHCHR) GENEVA (6 February 2019) – UN human rights experts* are urging the UK not to use security and terrorism-related legislation to prosecute peaceful protesters, following the conviction of the so-called Stansted 15, who took action at the airport in south-east England to prevent a deportation flight. Following the conviction of ...
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(Council of Europe) “The high level of tension currently prevailing in France gives me cause for concern and I believe that there is an urgent need to calm the situation,” said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović today following her mission to Paris on 28 January to ...
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(European Commission)  The European Commission has today decided to send a reasoned opinion to Hungary concerning legislation that criminalises activities that support asylum and residence applications and further restricts the right to request asylum. On 19 July 2018, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning the new ...
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(Council of Europe) When terrorism spreads, states are often tempted to restrict fundamental freedoms for the sake of fighting it and preventing further attacks. Terrorism constitutes a serious threat to human rights and democracy and action by states is necessary to prevent and effectively sanction terrorist acts. However, the misuse of ...
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(Council of Europe) In a letter addressed to the Presidents of the Congress and the Senate of Spain published today, Commissioner Mijatović urges the Parliament to ensure that the review of the Law on Citizens’ Safety eliminates possibilities of disproportionate interference with the rights to freedom of expression and freedom ...
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(Council of Europe) The Expert Council on NGO Law of the Conference of INGOs has just published a review on international standards relating to reporting and disclosure requirements for NGOs. The review is prepared against the background of the perceived trend of Member States imposing onerous reporting and disclosure requirements on NGOs ...
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(FRA) Civil society organisations play a critical role in democracies, and the importance of their work is widely recognised in international legal and policy documents. However, they face many obstacles when it comes to their day-to-day work. Based on the results of an online consultation with FRA's civil society network, ...
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On 22 October, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences and the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice wrote a letter to the Italian government expressing concern on the pressure on spaces for women in the Capital. They ...
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(FRA) This note draws attention to the recent trend of criminalising search and rescue operations (SAR) in the Mediterranean Sea carried out by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other private entities. This includes seizing rescue vessels, as well as arrests for crew members, in some EU Member States. Most of such ...
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(European Parliament) Proposal approved by 448 votes to 197 EP sees a clear risk of a serious breach of the EU founding values in Hungary Judicial independence, freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities, and the situation of migrants and refugees are key concerns Council may address recommendations to Hungary ...
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(OHCHR) GENEVA (11 September 2018) – UN human rights experts* have expressed serious concerns about tough new measures in Hungary to stop migrants and refugees from entering the country, as well as the increased number of threats cast against civil society actors. On 1 July 2018, a new law – called ...
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(European Commission) Today, the European Commission decided to send a Reasoned Opinion to Poland regarding the Polish law on the Supreme Court. The new Polish law on the Supreme Court lowers the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65, which puts 27 out of 72 sitting Supreme ...
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The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Nuala Ní Aoláin, raised concern over the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security law discussed by parliament. She said: "a series of provisions included in the draft bill fall short of the United Kingdom's obligations under international ...
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(BIRGIT VAN HOUT on the EUobserver) Recently, the European Commission published its proposals for the Multi-Annual Financial Framework Post-2020 (MFF), which will set the priorities and parameters for the EU budget after 2020. For the remainder of this year, and possibly into the first part of 2019, the European Parliament and the European ...
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(POLITICO) Viktor Orbán’s government is violating key EU rules and rights, Brussels says. By LILI BAYER The European Commission on Thursday referred Hungary to the European Court of Justice over its treatment of asylum seekers, declaring that Budapest is not complying with EU law. The referral is the final stage in an infringement ...
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(OHCHR) BRUSSELS (1 June 2018) - The Belgium Government’s commitment to uphold human rights obligations while countering terrorism serves as an example of good national practice, a UN human rights expert says. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala Ní ...
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(OHCHR) PARIS/GENEVA (23 May 2018) – A UN human rights expert has commended efforts by France to combat terrorism but has raised concerns about the effect anti-terrorism laws have on the enjoyment of fundamental human rights including liberty, privacy, association, movement and religious freedom. The Special Rapporteur on the protection of ...
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(Venice Commission) President Gianni Buquicchio met with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to discuss the implementation of the Venice Commission’s opinion on the amendments to the Ukrainian Law on Secondary Education as well as the upcoming opinion on the new “stop Soros” legislative provisions. In relation to the latter, President Buquicchio ...
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(Council of Europe) Statement by Anna Rurka, the President of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs, regarding “The Hungarian government’s legislative package T/333 “2018 STOP Soros Act” As the President of the Conference of INGOs, I am extremely concerned by the criminalization of essential human rights work by NGOs in ...
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(OHCHR) GENEVA (11 May 2018) – UN rights expert Fionnuala Ní Aoláin will visit France from 14 to 23 May to gather first-hand information on counter-terrorism initiatives and assess how they affect the promotion and protection of human rights. “I will seek to provide assistance to the French government in promoting ...
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(OHCHR) BRUSSELS (19 April 2018) – The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe welcomes the adoption Thursday by the European Parliament of a resolution calling for the establishment of a "Values Fund" or "Values Instrument" to support independent civil society organisations undertaking human rights work in countries within the European ...
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(European Parliament) Civil Liberties MEPs call for a new European Values Instrument to support civil society organisations which are active at local and national level in promoting EU fundamental values. Civil society organisations (CSOs) are facing difficulties to secure enough funds to develop and perform their activities independently and effectively, ...
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(OHCHR) The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, urged Spanish authorities to refrain from pursuing the criminal charge of rebellion against political figures and protesters in Catalonia that carries a jail sentence of up to 30 years. “Prosecutions for ‘rebellion’ that could lead ...
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(The shift) Over 30 MEPs have signed a statement calling on the Greek authorities to ensure that Maria Efimova is not returned to Malta and to offer her asylum for her protection. Maria Efimova – the Russian whistleblower at the centre of a corruption scandal involving Malta’s prime minister Joseph ...
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(European Centre for Press and Media Freedom) Benedek Jávor was one of six MEPs travelling to Slovakia in an ad hoc delegation by the European Parliament to make their presence felt after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak. The mission's report is out now. There was a debate in Strasbourg ...
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(EUobserver) A group of 34 MEPs has called on the European Commission to check whether Spanish legislation on public offence is "fully aligned" with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The MEPs, from the Greens and GUE/NGL groups, as well as two liberals, say "freedom of expression under threat in ...
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(Council of Europe) I am seriously concerned at the legislative package recently announced by the Hungarian government under the name “Stop Soros”. If adopted by Parliament, it will introduce further arbitrary restrictions to the indispensable work of human rights NGOs and defenders in Hungary. In a letter I sent to the ...
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(Budapest Business Journal) With the receipt of the relevant petition from the European Commission, infringement proceedings begun against Hungary due to its legislation on foreign-funded NGOs has officially been put before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the Luxembourg-based court announced on Thursday. The EC announced in December that – ...
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(Liberties.eu) From smear campaigns to funding restrictions, governments across the EU are increasingly trying to silence human rights defenders. As the European Parliament prepares to debate the issue, Liberties offers its recommendations to improve the situation. On 18 January 2018, the Hungarian government launched ‘Stop Soros’, a package of draft laws ...
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(Index on censorship) MEPs David Casa (EPP), Ana Gomes (S&D), Monica Macovei (ECR), Maite Pagazaurtundúa (ALDE) Stelios Kouloglou (GUE) and Benedek Jávor (Greens) have joined forces to push for EU legislation that will address and end “SLAPPs” – lawsuits intended to intimidate and silence investigative journalists and independent media by ...
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(ECNL) A new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) confirms that it has become harder for civil society organisations in the European Union to promote fundamental rights – due to both legal and practical restrictions. Verbal and physical attacks against activists, legal changes that negatively affect civil society, increased ...
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(European Parliament) MEPs back call for Poland to be declared at risk of breaching EU values MEPs’ concerns: separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights Treaties give power to EU leaders to act to stop a EU country from breaching EU values EU governments should swiftly determine ...
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The European Union is setting a bad example by allowing some of its members to stifle human rights groups, which is encouraging crackdowns elsewhere in the world, a top United Nations official charged with defending rights activists said. Michel Forst said officials in Burundi, Democratic Republic ...
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(CIVICUS Monitor) EU takes Hungary to ECJ over crackdown 'aimed at George Soros': European commission says it is suing country over laws on education and foreign-backed civil society organisations https://t.co/E9XCAzhchF pic.twitter.com/IkB6rf2K9d— BG HelsinkiCommittee (@bg_helsinki) December 8, 2017 The European Commission is taking Hungary to the Court of Justice because of the government's ...
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(European Civic Forum) Today, the LIBE Committee of the European parliament organised a public hearing on the situation of fundamental rights and the Rule of Law in Hungary. Sitting in the panel with Judith SARGENTINI and Claude MORAES were also Marta PARDAVI from the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Gábor POLYÁK from Mertek Media Monitor, Miklós SZÁNTHÓ (Centre for Fundamental Rights) and eventually ...
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(EURONEWS) European officials have called on Jean-Claude Juncker to cut off funding to Budapest until ‘basic democratic freedoms are reinstated’. European heavyweights have called on Brussels to cut funding to Hungary, according to a letter obtained exclusively by Euronews. The document, addressed to EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker, says money flows to ...
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(Euractiv.com)  On 14 September, MEPs voted against amendments to tighten controls on EU-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that act “against EU interests”. A search for the proponents of these measures points to a pro-Israeli pressure group and a Glyphosate supporter. The amendments were tabled at the last minute by the centre-right European ...
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