States should enable NGOs to access foreign funding, say Venice Commission experts

Venice, 15.03.2019 – In the wake of recent challenges to the independent functioning of associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Council of Europe’s constitutional legal experts today adopted a report on standards with respect to foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Council of Europe member states. Over the last four years, the Venice Commission has been…

Rapporteurs welcome presidential pardon of prisoners in Azerbaijan, call for release of all political prisoners

Sunna Aevarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC), rapporteur on reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, along with Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom, EC) and Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), Monitoring Committee co-rapporteurs for Azerbaijan, today welcomed the release, following the Navruz presidential pardon, of more than 400 sentenced prisoners in Azerbaijan, including over 50 persons considered to be…

Report on EU – Azerbaijan relations in the framework of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy

This report focusses on the efforts by Azerbaijan to carry out reforms looking at key developments in the country’s relations with the European Union since the publication of the previous report on EU-Azerbaijan relations on 20 December 2017, in particular in the priority areas identified in the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities. The EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council under…

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 – AZERBAIJAN

The Azerbaijani constitution provides for a republic with a presidential form of government. Legislative authority is vested in the Milli Mejlis (National Assembly). The presidency is the predominant branch of government, exceeding the judiciary and legislature. The election observation mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded that the April 11…

PRESS RELEASE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Global assault on NGOs

Laws designed to silence_final_web versionGovernments across the world are increasingly attacking non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by creating laws that subject them and their staff to surveillance, nightmarish bureaucratic hurdles and the ever-present threat of imprisonment, Amnesty International said in a new report released today. Laws Designed to Silence: The Global Crackdown on Civil Society Organizations reveals…

HRC40 | Stifling civil society in the name of national security does not pay off, says Special Rapporteur

Wake up to the adverse effect counter-terrorism and security matrices and measures are having on civil society, says an independent human rights expert in a new report to the UN’s Human Rights Council.  Silencing civil society is counter-productive; it puts national security at risk.  In a hard-hitting new report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental…

EU appoints a new Special Representative

Today, the Council appointed Eamon Gilmore as EU Special Representative for Human Rights. Mr Gilmore will replace Stavros Lambrinidis, who was appointed in 2012 the first EU Special Representative. Mr Gilmore will take up his duties on 1 March 2019 and has been appointed initially for two years.  The tasks of the Special Representative for Human Rights…