- Human rights in Europe – review of 2019
In 2019 in the heart of Europe, some states actively sought to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid state accountability. The European Union continued to outsource border and migration control. Grave human rights risks ensued: tens of thousands of people remained exposed to conflict, violence, torture and an uncertain future in destitute conditions. Those opposing these border and migration control policies frequently faced smear campaigns, harassment, and even administrative and criminal penalties. Increasing numbers of human rights defenders, activists and independent media faced intimidation and prosecution. Expressions of dissent on the streets were often met with a range of restrictive measures and excessive use of force by police. Against this overall backdrop of intolerance and discrimination, minorities and those seeking to defend their rights were met with violence, increasing stigmatization of some communities. Survivors of sexual violence, including rape, continued to face obstacles in accessing justice. While two countries held their first ever Pride parades, there was a roll-back in a number of others on law and policies related to the rights of LGBTI people.
Downlaod the full report in here: Europe: Human rights in Europe – review of 2019
(available in Slovak, Czech, French, Greek, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, English, Greek)
- Dissolution threat against human rights organization is blatant attempt to silence criticism
Responding to reports that the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), the biggest human rights organization in Bulgaria, has been threatened with dissolution after a party in the Bulgarian ruling coalition accused it of “openly anti-Bulgarian activities”, Amnesty International’s Europe Deputy Director Massimo Moratti said:
“This is an unprecedented attempt to silence independent and critical voices by the authorities in Bulgaria. As a member of the European Union, Bulgaria has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law, and we expect the Prosecutor General to firmly reject the request for dissolution.
“The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee is the most respected human rights organisation in Bulgaria. Their work providing capacity-building for judges and prosecutors and legal services to people in need is crucial. Attempts to deregister them for their work are a direct assault on freedom of expression.”
On 30 September, the political party VMRO-BND wrote to Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General to terminate the registration of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.
It argued that BHC activities, including organizing seminars with prosecutors and judges and representing clients before the European Court of Human Rights and domestic courts, were interfering with judicial independence.