Tag - Europe ( 51 )

News | UN Special Rapporteur concerned about recurring violence against demonstrators in Belarus

Mar 14 2017

GENEVA – Belarus is being urged by a UN human rights expert to stop acts of violence and harassment against demonstrators and to respect freedom of peaceful assembly. The appeal comes from the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, and follows reports of mass arrests and intimidation of activists protesting against the presidential decree “On the Prevention of Social Dependence”, also referred to as the “anti-parasitism” law. The order by President Lukashenko allows fines to be imposed on anyone who does not work more than 183 days and is not declared officially unemployed. As implementation began last month, thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets in protest. Mr. Haraszti described the decree as “an arbitrary and cruel measure”, estimated to affect more than 470,000 Belarusians. “These people are not only singled out and stamped as ‘society’s parasites’, but they are subjected to substantial fines amounting to the equivalent of USD250, or about two thirds of the average monthly wage in Belarus.” Following demonstrations held for several weeks in many parts of the country, the President has reportedly suspended the collection of the fines for this year. However, he also stressed that he does not rescind the decree. Additionally, he has... Continue reading →

Report | Country visit: United Kingdom follow-up mission (coming in June 2017)

Apr 19 2017

Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai undertook his second official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from April 18-21, 2016, as a follow-up to his official visit to the United Kingdom in 2013. The visit was carried out pursuant to his mandate to assess the situation of freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in the country. At a press conference at the end of his visit on April 21, 2016, the Special Rapporteur noted that the UK takes its role as one of the global leaders in human rights seriously, but cautioned against a series of domestic measures that have resulted in the “closing of space for civil society." “I am concerned about a series of separate measures by the Government – some implemented and others proposed – which, put together, suggest that the Government has a negative view of civil society," he said in his concluding statement. “These moves have, in many instances, been subtle and gradual, but they are unmistakable and alarming.” He highlighted in particular the Government’s focus on countering “non-violent extremism” without a narrow and explicit definition of the term. He specifically referred to the Prevent strategy which focuses on individuals and groups that appear contrary to the “British Values” of democracy, pluralism and... Continue reading →

News | Closing space for civil society in the United Kingdom, Special Rapporteur warns

Apr 21 2016

LONDON – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, warned today against a series of measures resulting in the “closing of space for civil society in the UK”, at the end of a four-day visit to the country. The Special Rapporteur highlighted that the UK takes its role as one of the global leaders in human rights seriously and added that “many people around the world look to the UK as a model for democracy and human rights” and emphasised that “the UK truly should consider its civil society a national treasure.” He noted a number of his 2013 recommendations had been implemented and commended the Government for its continued willingness to constructively engage on human rights in general and on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in particular. “I am concerned about a series of separate measures by the Government - some implemented and others proposed - which, put together, suggest that the Government has a negative view of civil society. These moves have, in many instances, been subtle and gradual, but they are unmistakable and alarming,” said the expert. The Government’s focus on countering “non-violent extremism” without a narrow and explicit definition was worrisome, Mr Kiai noted. He... Continue reading →

News | Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association at the conclusion of his second visit to the United Kingdom

Apr 21 2016

LONDON - I would like to once again thank the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) for inviting me to undertake this official follow-up visit from 18 to 21 April 2016, which is a follow up to my initial visit in January 2013. This is the first follow-up mission I have conducted during my tenure as Special Rapporteur, and I commend the Government for its continued willingness to constructively engage on human rights in general and on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in particular. It is clear that the UK takes its role as one of the global leaders in human rights seriously. Many people around the world look to the UK as a model for democracy and human rights. The world notices when this country takes positive steps to strengthen its practice of human rights. But it notices even more when it moves in the opposite direction – restricting the space for democracy and human rights. Let me thank the Government for its excellent cooperation in organizing the mission, short as it was. A remarkable number of meetings were set up with members of the executive and legislative branches, and independent institutions, over the past four days. The input and assistance of these officials was extremely helpful. Given the brevity of the visit, I only looked at the situation in... Continue reading →

News | UK: Official follow-up visit by UN expert on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association

Apr 15 2016

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, will visit London from 18 to 21 April 2016 as a follow-up to his official visit to the United Kingdom in 2013. “This visit will give me an opportunity to follow-up on my recommendations and look at any good practices in relation to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association developed by the authorities since my last visit, but also examine remaining challenges in this regard, and advise them how to overcome these,” Kiai said. “I look forward to a renewed constructive dialogue with all the stakeholders I am due to meet,” the independent human rights expert noted. The Special Rapporteur, who is visiting at the invitation of the UK Government, will stay in London where he is due to meet officials and members of Parliament, as well as representatives of independent institutions, including the national human rights commission, and of civil society. The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference on Thursday 21 April at 1 pm at the Foreign Press Association, Award House, 7-11 St Matthew Street SW1P 2JT, London. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. A... Continue reading →

Report | Armenia communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Armenia by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Armenia. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Armenia, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) None Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014) Joint urgent appeal, 10/09/2013. Case no. ARM 1/2013. State reply: 27/02/2014. Allegations of threats and harassment of Armenian women’s non-governmental organizations and women human rights... Continue reading →

Report | Montenegro communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Montenegro by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Montenegro. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Montenegro, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) None Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014) None Fourth Report (March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015) None Fifth Report (March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016) JOL, 02/03/2015. Case no. MNE 1/2015. State reply: 29/04/2015. Alleged fast-tracked reform... Continue reading →

Report | United Kingdom communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with the United Kingdom by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from the United Kingdom. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of the United Kingdom, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) None Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014) None Fourth Report (March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015) Joint urgent appeal, 21/05/2014. Case no: GBR 2/2014. State reply: 10/07/2014. Alleged imminent risk of forced return from... Continue reading →

Report | Moldova communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with the Republic of Moldova by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Moldova. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Moldova, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) Joint allegation letter, 04/07/2012. Case no. MDA 3/2012. State Reply: 16/10/2012. Alleged bans on public activities organized by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in several municipalities in Moldova. Joint urgent appeal,... Continue reading →

Report | Netherlands communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with the Netherlands by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from the Netherlands. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of the Netherlands, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) Joint urgent appeal, 04/07/2012. Case no. NLD 3/2012. State Reply: 20/08/2012. Alleged imminent deportation to the People's Republic of China. Observations The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the Government of the Netherlands for its response... Continue reading →