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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Podcast : An American View Of Europe's Integration Of Roma Communities

Gwendolyn Albert
This end of year podcast reviews one of Europe's major news stories of 2010 - the social inclusion of Roma communities.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Venice Commission To Approve UK Election Practice Overhaul

Constitutional experts from the Council of Europe are set to give their approval to an overhaul of the United Kingdom’s code of practice for election observers.

The Venice Commission will rubberstamp its positive assessment of the updated code at its meeting in Venice, Italy, on 18 December.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Committee Of Ministers Paves Way For Global 'Medicrime' Treaty

Governments across the world will be urged to sign up to a new Council of Europe treaty criminalizing the manufacture and supply of counterfeit medical products.

The organisation announced today the adoption by its Committee of Ministers of the ‘Medicrime’ Convention.

ECHR: Croatian Authorities Discriminated Against Reformist Churches

A complaint of religious discrimination by Reformist churches in Croatia has been upheld by judges at the European Court of Human Rights.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case Savez Crkava Riječ Života and Others v. Croatia (application no. 7798/08), which is not final , the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

A violation of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights

Thorbjørn Jagland Issues Challenge To Member States

A respect for human rights should lie at the heart of decisions taken by Council of Europe member states on the right of entry, residence and expulsion of foreigners according to Thorbjørn Jagland.

The Secretary General’s view was expressed during an interview with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

ECRE interview

Human Rights Commissioner Wants Germany To Stop 'Forced Returns' To Kosovo

Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg has written to Germany’s Interior Minister urging him to "avoid" further ‘forced returns’ to Kosovo.

“The infrastructure and resources available there are in fact not adequate for the sustainable integration of returnees,” the Commissioner said following the publication today of his letter to the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas De Maizière.

Human Rights At The Heart Of Christmas

Lilian Thuram
As the European Convention on Human Rights celebrates its 60th anniversary, the Council of Europe and the City of Strasbourg have placed the spotlight on human rights at this year's internationally famous Christmas Market.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

New Report On Germany's Treatment Of National Minorities

A new Council of Europe report on Germany shows no decrease in the number of racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic offences, despite efforts made by the authorities.

The Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities published today its Third Opinion on Germany, and the government’s comments.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Protection Of National Minorities Report On Croatia

A new report on Croatia shows ethnically-motivated incidents against Serbs and Roma "continue to be a serious problem” despite improvements in the protection offered to national minorities.

Judges Back Portuguese Newspaper After Football Dispute With Sporting

A judgement ordering the newspaper Público and four staff to pay 75,000 euros to Sporting Clube de Portugal for defamation breached the right of free expression, European judges have declared.

Judges Back Polish Buddhist In Prison Human Rights Breach

A Buddhist has won €3000 after European Court of Human Rights judges ruled that Polish prison authorities violated his human rights.

In a Chamber judgment today in the case Jakóbski v. Poland (application no. 18429/06), which is not final , the Court held, unanimously, that there had been

A violation of Article 9 (freedom of religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the authorities’ refusal to provide a detainee with a meat-free diet in prison, contrary to the dietary rules of his faith.

Data Protection, Citizens' Rights And The Council Of Europe

Personal data protection is emerging as a key concern for Europeans as everyday life becomes increasingly intertwined with social networks and cloud computing.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Anti-Corruption Unit Reports On Serbia

Greater efforts are needed to fight corruption and strengthen the supervision of party funding in Serbia, according to a new Council of Europe report.

In the Third Round Evaluation Report published today by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the countries authorities´ efforts to comply with Council of Europe standards are recognized.

However, the report’s authors call on Serbia to “address a few limited deficiencies, regarding, in particular, the legal framework applicable to the bribery of foreign jurors and arbitrators, as well as the possibilities to prosecute corruption abroad.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Happy Hanukkah From Strasbourg

Daniel Holtgen
 Communications director Daniel Holtgen was the Council of Europe’s representative at a 2 December ceremony marking Hanukkah.

In his speech, the director said Hanukkah was an opportunity to remember the “courage and resistance of the Jewish people." The  event had a “wider message for all humanity,” he added.

Conference In Ukraine: Local Government's Response To The Financial Crisis

Alina Tatarenko

A conference discussing the impact of the financial crisis on Ukraine and the response of the country's local government officials starts today (3 December) in Kyiv.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio: End Disabled People's "Double Discrimination"

Governments must do more to prevent the “double discrimination” faced by Europe’s most vulnerable people with disabilities, said Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio.

She urged governments to use the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) to make a firm commitment to those most in need.

ECHR Backs French Company In Property Row With Armed And Violent Man

A French company denied police assistance to evict the armed and violent former owner of one of its properties has been awarded more than €11,500 in costs and damages.

The decision by judges at the European Court of Human Rights was made known on 2 December.

Parliamentary Assembly: Albania's Court Defiance "Unacceptable"

A decision by Albania to defy the European Court of Human Rights on an extradition case is “unacceptable” to the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

Its Rapporteur David Darchiashvili has expressed deep concern at the extradition of Almir Rrapo to the United States last week (24 November) which ignored a binding interim measure from the Court.

ECHR Says Russia Responsible for Disappearance and Presumed Death A Chechen Man

In a 2 December Chamber judgment in the case Dzhabirailova and Dzhabrailova v. Russia (application no. 15563/06), which is not final , the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been human rights violations.

The case concerned the applicants’ allegation that Isa Aytamirov was abducted and killed by Russian servicemen during an unacknowledged security operation in February 2003 in Grozny.

Greece Ordered To Pay 4.2 million Euros For Property Rights Infringements

In 2 December Chamber judgments in the cases of Anonymos Touristiki Etairia Xenodocheia Kritis v. Greece (application no. 35332/05) and Theodoraki and Others v. Greece (no. 9368/06), which are not final, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously awarded a total of 4,220,000 euros (EUR) for pecuniary damage, plus sums for costs and expenses.

Bulgarians Win Court Backing After Brewery Nationalisation

Three Bulgarian men have won the support of the European Court of Human Rights in their claims to shares from a Plovdiv brewery nationalised in 1947.

The case (Putter v. Bulgaria - no. 38780/02) was brought by Paul, Victor and Johannes Putter, are successors to shareholders of the brewery.

Thomas Hammarberg: Time To Overcome Ethnic Divisions In Bosnia And Herzegovina

At the end of his three-day visit to Bosnia Herzegovina, Thomas Hammarberg has called for an end to the discrimination of national minorities in the country.

The Council of Europe’s Human rights Commissioner said: “Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should end discrimination towards members of national minorities by bringing law and practice fully into line with human rights standards including the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.

“The right to equality should be ensured for members of all ethnic groups.”

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thorbjørn Jagland Calls For Death Penalty Global Moratorium

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has called for a global moratorium on capital punishment.

His declaration followed this morning's death by hanging of Shahla Jahed in Tehran.