Strasbourg, 21.05.2012 - “Today the situation of human rights defenders in Europe is far from satisfactory. In some Council of Europe member states they risk their own personal security, especially when they champion sensitive issues such as fighting the impunity of state officials for serious crimes including murder, torture and corruption, or promoting the rights of oppressed minority groups,” said Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) in her report on the situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member states.
In a draft resolution unanimously adopted in Paris today, PACE Legal Affairs Committee recalls that the responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights defenders lies first and foremost with states, and calls on them to put en end to the administrative, fiscal and judicial harrassment of human rights defenders. Legislation imposing any such restrictions is unacceptable, the committee said.
It also called on member states to ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their activities without hindrance, reprisals or threats. Finally, it urged member states to put an end to impunity for perpetrators of violations against human rights defenders and to involve human rights defenders in the legislative process concerning them.