Human Rights

The mother of all hearings

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As soon as the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, revealed on 10 September that Hungary’s former Minister of Justice Laszlo Trocsanyi was her proposed Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy, alarm...

UK launches “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign

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The British government has launched a public information campaign called "get ready for Brexit" on Sunday. The £100 million campaign was launched on the website  gov.uk/brexit. The website begins with a survey, leading to recommended actions...

Sweden bans facial recognition technology in schools

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The Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA) has issued a ban on facial recognition technology in schools after one of the country's high-school students attempted to use the controversial software to keep track of attendance. Sweden's...

Russia’s influence in Georgia has grown since the 2008 war

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At exactly the same time that French President Emmanuel Macron was hosting his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at his summer home in the south of France this week, Russian soldiers were busy building barbed...

What can be done to save Hong Kong?

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It is becoming increasingly clear, as the Hong Kong protests continue, that the Chinese Communist Party will be forced to make a choice - either a bloody, military crackdown (the more likely of the...

When Leninists overreach

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Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must...

EP president urges Italian government to let all migrant ship passengers disembark

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The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has urged the Italian government to allow the Open Arms migrant ship to dock on the island of Lampedusa and allow the more than 100 illegal...

Bosnia’s authorities draw cautious praise from Brussels after agreeing to form Council of Ministers

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Nearly 10 months after Bosnia and Herzegovina's last round of elections, the leaders of country's three main ethnoreligious groups finally reached an agreement to form a central government on 4 August, news that the...

Ukraine’s new president must stop the cover-up of journalist’s murder

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Three years after the murder of Belarusian-Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet, time is up for Ukrainian law enforcers. It’s hard to imagine a more utter failure: not a single person has been charged for the killing...

Tokayev approves composition of National Council of Public Confidence

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev approved the composition of the National Council of Public Confidence, Akorda reported on 17 July. Tokayev announced the creation of the public confidence council, which he will chair,...

Malta charges three for the assassination of Garuana Galizia

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Malta’s Attorney General has indicted three men for the assassination of the investigative anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on Tuesday. The indictment came days before a 20-month deadline to either indict or release suspects in...

IKEA suffers political onslaught in Poland as it takes a stand on homophobia

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Party (PiS) campaigning with a poster featuring an umbrella protecting the nucleus family. Among the man’s posts was Leviticus 20:13, a popular reference point for religious condemnation of homosexuality, as it calls for the death...

UK threatens China with sanctions over Hong Kong

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The British foreign secretary and aspirant prime minister Jeremy Hunt threatened China with "serious consequences" over its treatment of protesters in Hong Kong. Hunt refused to rule-out sanctions against the world’s second-biggest economy. Trying to...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

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The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

German companies exported weapons-grade chemicals to Syria

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The Essen-based chemical wholesaler Brenntag denied on Wednesday that it has circumvented EU export rules and Swiss law to facilitate the export of chemicals to Syria in 2014. The German company’s Swiss subsidiary supplied isopropanol...

Europe can help Georgia’s protestors preserve the country’s hard-won freedom

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There are not a lot of things in this world that we agree on. Left or Right. For or against immigration. Netflix or the big screen. Still, there are a few that we do...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

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On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

What Putin’s new citizenship initiative would mean for Ukraine

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Since the recent presidential elections ended in a landslide victory for Volodymyr Zelensky some signs of a possible political and economic revival have been noticed in Ukraine. The very electoral victory of the Zelensky...

Germany bans gay corrective treatments

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Germany is planning to ban so-called “treatments” for homosexuality, often practised by religious groups, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on 11 June. Gay conversion therapies are not common in Europe, but it is estimated that...

Zelensky restores Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship

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Just over a week after being inaugurated as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky issued an executive order on Tuesday that overturned a July 2017 decree by his successor, Petro Poroshenko, that illegally stripped Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili...

Taliban’s treatment of prisoners worries UN mission in Afghanistan

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After face-to-face interviews with 13 detainees who were freed from a Taliban detention facility by Afghan special forces troops on 25 April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed deep concerns that the Islamist insurgent...

Report says Human Rights NGO Open Dialogue Foundation “suspected of cooperating with Russian intelligence”

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A recent report accuses the controversial human rights NGO Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF), the purpose and activities of which are concealed behind a mask of human rights advocacy, and its head Lyudmyla Kozlovska of...

The challenge of being an ambassador to Ukraine

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Among the biggest challenges for foreign diplomats is an election year in Ukraine. The unpredictability that never wanes, even after the results are in, offers very fertile ground for developing professional skills of the...

China bans Wikipedia

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China has banned online encyclopedia Wikipedia, six years after the platform's founder, Jimmy Wales, refused to comply with China’s regulatory demands regarding the site's content. The Chinese Communist Party's decision to issue a blanket ban on all...

German liberal party’s peace proposal for Ukraine looks for new path forward

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI), which measures the relative position of nations' peacefulness, Ukraine is the lowest-ranked European country. The GPI ranks it as 152 out of 163 independent states, followed by Syria,...

Julian Assange arrested in London

Controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and is now in custody at a central London police station while he awaits a hearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court. Ecuadorian President Lenín...

Italian parliament unanimously approves bill against revenge porn

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An amendment to a bill on violence against women was passed unanimously in the Italian parliament on 2 April, setting prison terms of up to six years for the unsolicited sharing of compromising erotic...

Ukraine’s false dichotomy

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As Ukrainians prepare for a hotly-contested presidential vote, two threats loom large over the political landscape: Russian aggression and corruption. These twin grievances are well-grounded. Five years after the Euromaidan Revolution, high hopes have...

France repatriates five ISIS children

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France's foreign ministry on 15 March announced that it had repatriated five children of French-born ISIS fighters, all of whom were unaccompanied and under medical as well as psychological supervision. Since the rise of the...

US State Department issues scathing human rights report for Georgia

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A 47-page report released by the US State Department on 13 March offered a bleak view of the current human rights and rule-of-law situation in Georgia under the informal rule of the country’s un-elected national leader...

Where are you from?

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The bell rings and the halls erupt with the sounds of chatter and excitement as hundreds of children run to the dusty courtyard for recess. I joined them to play football but the game...

Sweden is reluctant to repatriate ISIS children

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Swedish authorities cannot bring home the children of Swedish members of ISIS from the refugee camps in Syria that they are stranded in, Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg said on 12 March. There are believed...

Turkey denies accreditation to foreign journalists ahead of March elections

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As the world's worst jailer of journalists and with only weeks to go before local elections, the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan have refused to accredit 50 foreign correspondents who planned to cover the vote. Correspondents working for...

EU tells Bosnia to be ‘realistic’ about future membership

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In the run-up to the release of the European Commission’s opinion about the Bosnia and Herzegovina readiness to join the EU, Brussel’s Commissioner for Enlargement negotiations and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn made clear on March 4...

Ultra-conservative Spanish organisation wants gender-based violence laws repealed

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Spain's ultraconservative Catholic organisation Hazte Oír, or "Make yourself heard" in English, has launched a campaign against laws protecting women and the LGBTQ community from gender-based violence. Hazte Oír first came into the public eye when...

Delphi Economic Forum: Intense focus on Southeastern Europe

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DELPHI, Greece - Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Delphi Economic Forum (DEF) has grown into a true Davos-like venue, with groups from all over the planet vying to use the Forum to...

Switzerland’s Jean-René Fournier on human rights around the world

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In an exclusive interview with New Europe's Federico Grandesso at the UN Building in Geneva while on the sidelines of a festival commemorating legendary Italian filmmaker and human rights advocate, Federico Fellini, the President of Swiss the Council...