Brussels, 16 July 2010 – The European Union expresses its preoccupation at the continuing human rights violations in the North Caucasus and the worsening of the situation of human rights defenders in the region, as also noted in Dick Marty´s (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) report on the human rights violations in the North Caucasus, one year after the assassination of Mrs Natalia Estemirova of the Non-Governmental Organisation Memorial.

The European Union is concerned at the recent threats received by the NGO Memorial and the charges brought forward against its Director, Mr Oleg Orlov.

The European Union recalls the importance of protecting human rights defenders in Russia and worldwide, and allowing them to freely exercise their activities in accordance with the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998. (more…)

Posted on 2010-07-13 – One year has passed since human rights defender Natalia Estemirova was brutally murdered. On 15 July 2009 she was abducted near her house in Grozny, Chechnya. She was pushed into a car by several assailants and some hours later her body was found in a forest in Ingushetia. She had been shot in the head and chest. (all press releases) | (more…)

[29/06/10 09:30] “Freedom of expression is curtailed in Azerbaijan today – major improvements are needed” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, presenting today his report on the country. Following a visit carried out in March, the report focuses on freedom of expression and association, conduct of law enforcement officials, administration of justice, and contains some observations on the visit to the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan. The Commissioner is particularly concerned about cases of threats, harassment, and violence against journalists or human rights activists which have not been properly investigated. (read report) | (all reports) | (more…)

YEREVAN, 18 June 2010 – Upon the conclusion of her visit to Armenia, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, issued the following statement: (all UN press releases) | (more…)

On the eve of celebrations of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s fiftieth anniversary of independence, the European Parliament has adopted unanimously an emergency resolution condemning in the strongest terms the murder of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, a well respected Congolese human rights defender and president of the NGO “Voice of the Voiceless” (VSV), found murdered in his car in the suburbs of Kinshasa, on the 2 June, and the fate of his driver Faithful Edad Bazan, who has still not been located.

On 4th June Heidi Hautala and Rebecca Harms, Co-president of the Green/Efa Group, sent a letter to the Ambassador of DRC calling for an effective investigation into the killing. (see press release) | (all EU resolutions) | (more…)