OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE: "MEMBER STATES MUST PROTECT AND SUPPORT
THE WORK OF HUMAN RIGHTS
[04/11/08] After a two-day round table with human rights
all parts of Europe, Commissioner Hammarberg, stated that "human rights
defenders should be seen as key partners in governmental endeavours to
and protect the rights of individuals".
"Such defenders are carrying out very
valuable work to raise
awareness among the population about human rights" said the
point at gaps and deficiencies in the national policies and protection
and they can also assist authorities in addressing these and finding
During the round table, human
rights activists and
journalists from all over Europe have shared with the Commissioner their
experiences of obstacles and problems in their daily work of promoting
rights for everyone in their respective countries.
"I am concerned about the many methods
used to impede the work of
human rights defenders" he continued. "I have received reports about
outright threats to their lives, legal or administrative harassments
conditioning state funding to not issuing public reports. I am deeply
about instances of pressure from officials and other individuals to
dissuade applicants or their legal representatives from bringing cases
European Court of Human Rights."
The 2008 Declaration on Council
of Europe action to
improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their
reinforced the mandate of the Commissioner and his possibilities of
conducive working environment, including raising individual cases with
Governments, in close cooperation with the United Nations Special
and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The Declaration designated the
as the main regional mechanism to strengthen the protection of human
defenders and their activities.
"Human rights defenders work on a wide
range of issues. We must ensure
that their work is not only protected, but supported by both national
authorities and international organizations" he concluded.
In their Declaration
adopted at the end of the round
table, human rights defenders called upon Council of Europe member
enhance the support to the Commissioner's work.
*Azerbaijan was represented at the
roundtable by Azeri human rights defenders Shahin
Abbasov, Arzu Abdullayev, Eldar Zeynalov and Emin Huseynov (Institute
Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Director).
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
4/11/08 We fifty-five human
right defenders from different parts of the
European continent met in a roundtable organized by the Commissioner
Rights on 3-4 November 2008 at the headquarters of the Council of
Strasbourg. We shared with him our concerns and the obstacles we face
daily basis in our work in defending the human rights of other persons
We welcome the opportunity
provided by the Office of the Commissioner
for Human Rights to interact and create an effective network of human
defenders throughout Europe, based on solidarity, good communication
capacity to react rapidly in urgent situation in defense of each
We strongly support the
Commissioner’s efforts and we call upon him to
strengthen and expand his activities in support of us and our work. We
upon member states of the Council of Europe to support him politically
financially in this endeavor, which is at the heart of his mandate.
More resources are needed to
allow the Commissioner to effectively
promote an enabling and conducive environment in which all human rights
standards of the Council of Europe are respected and a reality in